XLN Telecom appoints former Thomas Cook CEO as Chairman

Small business phone line and broadband specialist, XLN Telecom, has appointed former Thomas Cook CEO John Donaldson as Chairman, following its recent investment from ECI Partners.

Donaldson’s career has been in the travel and financial services sectors. As chief executive of the Thomas Cook Group he led a £990 million demerger in 2001. In recent years he has been an investor and director in a number of high growth private equity backed businesses including laterooms.com, holidayautos.com, Cannons Health and Fitness, ATP International and Thames Clippers. He is also currently Chairman of onthebeach.co.uk and Encore tickets.

Donaldson said: “It’s a privilege for me to join the team at XLN Telecom. They’ve already done a great job in growing the business to revenues of £54million in 2009 to 2010, and the management team has been recognised by the British Venture Capital Association as one of the best private equity backed teams in the mid cap market. I’ve worked with a number of businesses facing the challenges of rapid growth and I look forward to helping XLN navigate their way to future success.”

Christian Nellemann, founder and group CEO at XLN Telecom, commented: “John has a fantastic track record guiding exciting, fast-growth businesses such as laterooms.com and Holiday Autos to success and we are delighted that he has joined us. One of the advantages of working with an established private equity firm like ECI Partners is their network of contacts and John comes highly recommended. His expertise will be critical as we seek to continue growing the business while developing new opportunities.”

ECI Partners, one of the UK’s leading mid-cap private equity groups, took a major holding in XLN Telecom in September this year.