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John Sutcliffe, one of the most respected and influential executives in travel retail, was the subject of a special celebration from industry colleagues on Sunday night at the Carlton Hotel. Sutcliffe is retiring from his post as Aer Rianta International-Middle East Managing Director at the end of the year.
At midnight last night, many of his peers and friends in the trade gathered to pay tribute to Sutcliffe, who received a six-string guitar to mark his time in the industry.
An emotional Sutcliffe told his friends and colleagues: “This is not all about me, it’s about all of you. You are wonderful people and have made my life in this industry so special. Now I’m passing on the baton at what may possibly be my last Cannes, to my son Karl, for whom it’s his first official Cannes.”
He added: “I said that when I retired I would have three simple rules: no bosses, no suits and no alarm clocks, and I intend to stick to every one of them.”
Sutcliffe’s son Karl introduced the evening with a moving tribute to his father, and was followed later by Dubai Duty Free Deputy Managing Director George Horan, who worked with Sutcliffe in his time at the UAE-based retailer. Horan said: “On behalf of everyone at Dubai Duty Free, we wish John all the best in retirement. He has been a wonderful asset to Aer Rianta International, previously to Dubai Duty Free and also to the industry.”