Simon Lane, Director, Leisure at Serco.
Serco Announces Major New Appointment
Serco has announced the appointment of Simon Lane in the newly created position of Director, Leisure, leading all contracts within the group's leisure portfolio.
The move will allow current managing director, Simon Bailey, to assume a more strategic and overarching role, and take on new business priorities. Serco's leisure contracts include cycle hire schemes in London, Edinburgh and the West Midlands and over 40 gyms and swimming pools in the United Kingdom.
Lane is a graduate of Nottingham Trent University, where he studied Sports Science and Business. His career has spanned several sectors, but he was most recently Operations Director for the UK’s leading provider of student accommodation, Unite Group PLC, but has vast leisure/entertainments industry experience from spells in senior roles with Merlin Entertainments PLC, the operator of Alton Towers and LEGOLAND, and the Arena Racing Company (ARC), which controls approximately 40 per cent of the UK horseracing fixture list.
During his three years with Merlin Entertainments, based out of the LEGOLAND in Windsor, he oversaw a workforce of 2,000+ employees and a business which hosted over 2.4m visitors per annum. He led a transformation of the customer journey in 2016 and 2017, which resulted in record breaking improvements in revenues and guest satisfaction. Annual revenues showed a 10% improvement and overall guest satisfaction in the hotels increased by 4 per cent (up to 96 per cent), and in the theme park a 7 per cent increase (up to 92 per cent) under Lane's leadership.
Announcing the appointment, Serco Leisure managing director, Simon Bailey said: "We’re delighted to welcome someone of Simon Lane’s calibre to Serco in this important new role. He’s a business leader with the proven ability across multiple sectors, working for huge organisations, to consistently deliver improved customer experiences while increasing profitability."
Lane added: "This feels an exciting time to take charge of the day to day running of Serco’s health and fitness business. COVID-19 has given us all a wake-up call in terms of physical and mental wellbeing, and our centres across England, Northern Ireland and on the Channel Island of Jersey are well placed to assist the nation in its journey towards happier, healthier lifestyles.
"If I have a calling card as a business leader, it’s that I pride myself on always seeing things through the eyes of a customer. Happy customers are loyal customers and how we retain our current membership base on top of attracting new people to our centres will be the twin threads which drive Serco Leisure forward.
"Working with Simon Bailey and the leisure senior leadership team, I’ll be looking to quickly get this business back to its pre-COVID revenue levels, then kick on into the future to exceed those numbers."