John Hays, the founder of the vacation company Hays Travel, has died.
The company said in a statement: “It is with deepest sadness and regret that we have to announce that John Hays, the founder and managing director of Hays Travel, died today doing the work he loved.
“John, who bought the Thomas Cook retail property a year ago with his wife and co-owner Irene Hays, was working at corporate headquarters in Sunderland when it broke down.
“John grew Hays Travel to become the UK’s largest independent travel agency, providing jobs and careers to thousands of young people for over 40 years.
“During this difficult year, he did everything in his power to save jobs and protect the travel industry.
“He was held in immense respect by his co-workers, colleagues, family and friends and recognized throughout his life for his many achievements.”
It is believed that Mr. Hays was in his early 70’s and owned the travel agency with his wife Irene, who also presides over the company.
He founded Hays Travel in the back of his mother’s kids clothing store in Seaham, Durham