The boss of over-50s group Saga has resigned after four years at the helm, saying the “time is right” to stand down, the company has announced.
Euan Sutherland will be replaced as chief executive by Mike Hazell, currently the group’s chief financial officer.
Mr Sutherland joined the holidays and insurance company in January 2020 and led it through the Covid pandemic when it was affected by travel restrictions.
He told the board of Saga earlier this year that it was the right time for him to resign and for someone else to take the firm “into the next phase of its development”, the company said.
The business has enjoyed a rebound for demand for holidays since Covid, but felt the impact of inflation leading to higher claims costs on its insurance arm.
It has been in talks to sell its insurance underwriting business in a bid to slash debts.
Mr Hazell, who was previously joint chief executive of Debenhams and interim chief financial officer at The Co-op Group, will step into the top job with immediate effect.
His role will be replaced by Mark Watkins, who already works at Saga. Mr Sutherland will stay on until January to support in the transition to the firm’s new leadership, it confirmed.
Mr Sutherland said: “I am very proud of everything we have achieved over the past four years, particularly our work to strengthen the brand and to better serve our customers with unique products and services.
“The time is right for someone else to take Saga into the next phase of its development and I am delighted to hand over to Mike and Mark, who I know will lead this business with passion and determination.”
Mr Hazell said: “I am delighted to take over from Euan and will continue to deliver against the Group strategy to maximise the performance of our existing businesses and reduce debt.”