October 9, 2013 / 6:46 PM / 5 years ago

Ryanair to hire new senior executive to boost image

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ryanair (RYA.I) is to hire a new senior executive to spearhead efforts to create a new, softer image after it was voted the worst of the 100 biggest brands serving the British market by consumer magazine Which?

The decision comes weeks after Chief Executive Michael O’Leary promised to transform the company’s culture, admitting for the first time that a reputation for treating its passengers badly might have become a problem.

The Irish-based airline, which carries more international passengers than any other carrier, frequently features in European tabloid newspapers with stories of customers charged huge fines for excess baggage or lost boarding passes.

The company will hire a new Director for Sales and Marketing to join an expanded 10-person senior management team and become the company’s main spokesman, according to an advertisement on its website.

The current spokesman is not part of senior management.

O’Leary has in the past been Ryanair’s de facto spokesman, but at the company’s annual general meeting last month he admitted his brash style might be a liability.

The company also advertised for a new Commercial Director. The two roles will cover the areas of responsibility of outgoing Deputy Chief Executive Michael Cawley.

Reporting by Conor Humphries; editing by David Evans

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