Manchester will pursue his passions after Thornton takes the helm at Intrepid

Issues & Trends – October 2012

Manchester will pursue his passions after Thornton takes the helm at Intrepid

INTREPID co-founder Geoff Manchester will concentrate on his tourism passions after he hands over the role of company managing director to James Thornton on December 1.

It will be the first time in 23 years that the iconic Intrepid, Australia’s most successful adventure travel company, has not been helmed by one of its two founders, Manchester and Darrell Wade.

Manchester and Wade steered Intrepid to the position where it undertook an effective management takeover of TUI Travel’s adventure travel interests with the formation of PEAK, the world’s largest adventure travel group.

Wade became – and remains – PEAK’s chief executive while Manchester was Intrepid’s managing director.

Now he has decided to hand over the role of managing director “so that he can concentrate on the areas of the business that he is most passionate about, including responsible travel”, according to a statement released by Intrepid.

“He will continue to play an integral role within Intrepid, leading The Intrepid Foundation, acting as an ambassador for Intrepid at industry, business and promotional events and taking on other activities within his remit as a PEAK director.”

His successor, Thornton, is currently the company’s commercial director and general manager sales and product, having been with Intrepid for more than seven years, initially as sales and marketing co-ordinator.

He was appointed to lead the global sales function in 2010 and over the past 18 months, has undertaken a dual role as Intrepid’s regional director for UK and Europe and its general manager for global sales. He recently became commercial director with responsibility for global product and global sales.

He has been actively involved in the acquisition and integration of businesses in Africa, North America and Australia; established regional sales offices in Canada and Central Europe; and he has led “the development of a sales culture at Intrepid, resulting in 2013 recording the best sales growth at

Intrepid in six years”, according to the statement released by the company.

Wade said Thornton will work closely with Manchester “to ensure there is a smooth transition of responsibilities and that the business continues to grow sales”.


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