Like former PM Harold McMillan, who had his own “night of the long knives” in 1962 by sacking eight cabinet ministers in one go, incoming chairman Frank Meysman has dispensed with three of Thomas Cook’s five non-executive directors. The soon to be ex-execs have a combined age of 202. But who are they?

Peter Middleton (right), 71, shunned university as a young man in order to pursue life as a monk. After three years, Middleton packed up and moved to Paris to study philosophy, then moved back to London and became a labourer and lorry driver. His business years have been similarly nomadic, moving from CEO of Thomas Cook, to Lloyd’s of London, to Salmon Brothers.

Bo Lerenius (left), 65, was chief executive and subsequently vice president of Stena Line during much of the 1990s. Following a financial blunder at Mouchel, Lerenius briefly took over as executive chairman.

David Allvey (right), 66, was the non-executive director of MyTravel Group. Prior to this he was the finance director of Barclays, a job he left with a £1.6m pay-off.