John Hays, the founder of holiday company Hays Travel, has passed away.
The company said in a statement, “It is with the greatest sadness and regret that we have to announce that John Hays, the founder and CEO of Hays Travel, passed away today while doing his job.
John, who bought the Thomas Cook shopping district with his wife and co-owner Irene Hays a year ago, was working in the company’s Sunderland headquarters when it collapsed.
John has built Hays Travel into the UK’s largest independent travel agency, offering jobs and careers to thousands of young people over 40.
“Over the past difficult year, he has done everything he can to save jobs and protect the travel industry.
“He was held in immense respect by his staff, colleagues, family and friends and was recognized throughout his life for his many accomplishments.”
Mr. Hays is believed to have been in his early 70s and owned the travel agency along with his wife Irene, who is also chairman of the company.
He founded Hays Travel in the back of his mother’s children’s clothing store in Seaham, Durham