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2016-04-19T00:00:00.000Z

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Wrong Tea Colaianni?

Ms. Tea Colaianni

Group Human Resources Director

Merlin Entertainments

Direct Phone: +44 ***********       

Email: t***@***.biz

Merlin Entertainments Group

Merlin Entertainments

3 Market Close

Poole, Dorset BH15 1NQ

United Kingdom

Company Description

Merlin Entertainments is the second largest attractions operator in Europe and the ninth largest in the world. A young, dynamic organistaion, it currently operates 39 attractions in ten European countries, plus a themepark in California, and is continuall ... more

Find other employees at this company (2,077)

Background Information

Employment History

Non Executive Director
Poundland Ltd

Web References (84 Total References)


Tea Colaianni (Independent ...

www.poundlandcorporate.com [cached]

Tea Colaianni (Independent Non-Executive Director)

Ms Colaianni joined the Board in February 2014 and is chair of the Remuneration Committee. Ms Colaianni is Group HR Director for Merlin Entertainments plc, which floated on the London Stock Exchange in November 2013. She is Italian, and a European Employment lawyer by background. Having begun her legal career in Brussels, advising multinational companies on EU related affairs, she moved into Human Resources and subsequently re-located to London. She has worked across a number of industries, recently heading up the Human Resources function in Europe for Hilton Hotels Corporation. The Board benefits from Ms Colaianni's insight into consumer facing businesses and her international experience.


Tea Colaianni - Fraser Giles Partnership

www.fgpartnership.com [cached]

Tea Colaianni

FGP Meets Editions
FGP Meets Editions
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Tea Colaianni
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Being female has not affected Tea Colaianni's career development at all - in fact she can recall just one time when sexism reared its ugly head. She was a trainee lawyer in Brussels and in a business meeting with some Japanese clients, when, to her mortification, Colaianni's boss asked her to make a cup of tea for everyone:
"I told him to get up and make it himself," she laughs. "The Japanese clients were surprised to have a woman in the meeting in the first place and then when I refused to do what my boss asked, they were really shocked."
Colaianni is now Group HR Director on the Executive Board of Merlin Entertainments, Europe's number one and the world's number two global leisure attractions operator. With more than 90 attractions in 21 countries, including the world's leading aquarium brand, SEA LIFE; LEGOLAND Parks and Discovery Centres; the EDF Energy London Eye; Alton Towers; Gardaland in Italy and Heide Park in Germany - her early decision to let no-one talk down to her has obviously paid off.
Equal opportunities
Colaianni describes herself as ambitious, driven and independent, traits that she admits have been easier to exercise thanks to the fact that her husband runs his own business and has the flexibility to share some of the childcare duties for their now seven and six year old sons (who, unsurprisingly, think their mum has the best job in the world).
Colaianni feels a responsibility to make it easier for other women to progress in their working lives too. She is on the Leadership Council for Women 1st, the initiative run by People 1st (the sector skills council for hospitality, passenger transport, travel and tourism in the UK on whose council of members Colaianni also sits) to increase the number of female board-level executives in the sector to 10% by 2015 and 20% by 2025.
She has just joined the Prince's Trust Women's Leadership Group whose mission is to raise funds to help young women to transform their lives through education and enterprise. She has also just received approval from Merlin's CEO, Nick Varney, to organise the first 'Merlin Women' virtual conference at the end of this year to look at ways of enabling female employees to fulfil their potential.
"We do have work to do on this area ourselves," she explains. "I am the only woman on the Board here at Merlin and of our grade two executives, 18% are women and in grade three, which includes general managers, it is 39%."
Having said that, she believes the company culture at Merlin is incredibly supportive to employees across the board and is justifiably proud that the organisation recently won an HR Distinction Award for employee engagement. For a business that employs more than 20,000 staff worldwide, 13,000 of whom are seasonal (numbers that have swollen this year with the opening of the new hotel at LEGOLAND Windsor; a new LEGOLAND park in Malaysia; the integration of the 10 attractions in Asia Pacific added through the acquisition earlier this year of Living and Leisure Australia; the openings of three new LEGOLAND Discovery Centres plus the new Weymouth Tower), staff turnover is impressively low. The figure is currently just over 22.5% which compares very favourably against the People 1st benchmark of 29% for leisure attractions. Colaianni says the target is to get Merlin's figure down to 20% by 2015 and she is confident this can be achieved. You would not want to bet against her. Colaianni has a proven track record for reaching her goals and is not afraid of challenging the status quo if she feels there is a better way.
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Yet with so many brands operating in so many territories, Colaianni recognised that Merlin's previous set of values were way too many, too confusing and had evolved from site level upwards, dating back to when the original Merlin acquired the larger Tussauds Group.
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All of this comes under the umbrella of 'The Merlin Way' and while the cynical may think it all sounds a bit like touchy-feely PR speak, Colaianni has plenty of examples to show the positive impact it has had in all aspects of the business.
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The Merlin Way is complemented by a number of other recruitment, staff training and reward initiatives instigated by Colaianni and all designed to work together to strengthen the Merlin brand around the world. These include the STAR scheme under which colleagues can recognise each other online; and the CEO Award Plan, which annually grants company shares to employees for long service or outstanding performance.
Colaianni says while Merlin encourages all of its operations to adopt its group wide strategies, it is also very entrepreneurial, giving some operational flexibility and autonomy so that the initiatives can be adapted to the local market or, in some instances, it is more a case of allowing them to get used to the idea of doing things differently.
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Dealing with HR issues across Europe is something Colaianni gained experience of during her time at Hilton, immediately prior to joining Merlin.
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Although a native Italian, Colaianni has never actually worked in Italy and says her best language for business is English.
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From a recruitment point of view, finding seasonal staff in Germany has also been tricky as unemployment is so low and, Colaianni acknowledges, because
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Colaianni says, however, that the uniqueness of the organisation and its ongoing expansion provide constant challenges. In 2013 alone, she will open a hotel in LEGOLAND California, LEGOLAND Discovery Centre in Toronto and Westchester - New York, a SEA LIFE centre in Manchester and a Dungeon in Berlin to name a few. She is looking forward to fulfilling her professional ambition of being Group HR Director for a publicly-listed company, something she intends to do at Merlin. The volatility in the financial markets that led the group to put plans for flotation on hold two years ago have not gone away, and an IPO is still very much the ultimate goal for the company so, yet again, Colaianni looks likely to achieve what she set out to do.


Tea Colaianni, Group Human ...

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Tea Colaianni, Group Human Resources Director, Merlin Entertainments Group


Carolyn Wilson - Branduin Business Support

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Tea Colaianni, Group HR Director, Merlin Entertainments


Merlin Entertainments | Kiddy & Partners

www.kiddyandpartners.com [cached]

Tea Colaianni, Group HR Director, Merlin Entertainments Group

Merlin Entertainments
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In light of that growth, Merlin's Group HR Director, Tea Colaianni, and CEO Nick Varney, decided they needed to put in place development plans for their Executive Team.
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Kiddy worked with Tea and Nick to put in place a one year development programme for each of the senior executives.

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