WHSmith has restructured its senior management team as it pushes forward with strategic priorities including building its international travel business.

Carl Cowling, the current managing director of WHSmith Travel, has been promoted to take up the same role – a newly created position − at the helm of the bookseller and stationer’s high street division.

The move could indicate that more of the highly successful travel arm’s approaches may be adopted into high street branches.

At the travel arm Toby Keir, at present commercial director, will become managing director, UK travel.

Phil McNally, commercial director at the high street business, has been appointed to the new role of managing director, international travel – excluding Australia.

Cowling and Keir will report to WHSmith chief executive Stephen Clarke, while McNally will report to chief financial officer Robert Moorhead, who will oversee all of the international business.

Clarke said: “As the group continues to grow and develop, it is essential that each business is able to focus on its individual strategic priorities.

“These changes to the senior leadership team will support this further while reflecting the increasing importance of the growth of international travel to the group.”

The trio will take up their new roles from September 1.

In June, WHSmith reported a 5% spike in like-for-like sales at its travel arm, reflecting an “ongoing focus on customer service, execution, space and category management as well as the continued increase in passenger numbers”.

The retailer said it was on target to open 15 units in the UK this year and others overseas, including six in Rome.

At the high street business the retailer suffered a 4% fall in like-for-likes, as expected, as it continued with its “profit-focused strategy”.