Chairman & Owner
Clive Jacobs is a serial entrepreneur and investor whose businesses have consistently challenged and disrupted established practices. Well-known for building his company Holiday Autos into the world’s largest leisure car rental broker before its sale to lastminute.com, he is now chairman and owner of Jacobs Media Group.
Clive’s introduction to the travel industry came aged 19, when he started working as a messenger for a travel agent and tour operator. Prior to that, he had worked in construction, life assurance and even in the fish department at Selfridges, having left school aged 15. After rising rapidly through the ranks, he decided to go it alone and, aged just 21, he set up his first travel company from an office in Kent while driving a taxi at night to supplement his income.
The Holiday Autos Story
In March 1988, Clive co-founded Holiday Autos, the company credited with reinventing the car rental model with its pre-bookable, pre-paid fully inclusive product and its guarantee to better any like-for-like quote.
When his partners decided to explore a different direction in 1995, Clive brought in ECI Partners to assist him in buying the business and taking it to the next stage in its evolution.
Over the next eight years, Clive and the Holiday Autos team built a company operating out of 30 countries worldwide and boasting a turnover in excess of £200 million. 70 awards in eight separate countries are testament to its service and innovation, including the first fully bookable car rental website – launched in 1999 and handling 80% of transactions by 2003.
In March 2003, Holiday Autos was acquired by lastminute.com, with Clive overseeing the integration of the businesses and the delivery of significant financial and worldwide infrastructure benefits as lastminute.com’s executive deputy chairman.
Ongoing Investment & Innovation
Following the successful integration of Holiday Autos and lastminute.com, Clive has invested in a number of start-up and later stage businesses, and has acted as an advisor on several significant acquisitions with major banks and private equity firms.
His experience in the travel and hospitality sectors includes a period as chairman and co-owner of the Michelin-starred L’Ortolan restaurant in Berkshire, and more recently as owner of the Michelin-starred New Angel restaurant in Dartmouth.
In August 2009 Clive made his first media investment by acquiring Travel Weekly from Reed Business Information.
Awards & Achievements
In addition to Clive’s private business achievements, he has also been engaged in the public and charity sectors.
In 2014, he was made an Honorary Fellow of The Tourism Society.
In 2008, he was instrumental in forming one of the country’s first destination management organisations, Visit Devon, serving as its first chairman. He is also a founding patron of the Teenage Cancer Trust.
Over a career spanning nearly four decades, Clive has received a number of personal honours, including becoming the youngest inductee into the prestigious Travel Industry Hall of Fame in 2003.
In 1999, he was named Director of the Year by Decision Magazine in association with PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Discover more about Clive
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