Ryanair’s Legendary Social Media Boss Quits, Makes Dramatic Exit


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Usually someone working in social media at an airline quitting wouldn’t make headlines. However, in the case of Ryanair, it does. That’s because Ryanair takes an unfiltered approach to social media, unlike any other airline. Also, there’s some drama surrounding this resignation…

Michael Corcoran has been the head of social media at Ryanair since mid-2021. As it turns out, October 31, 2023, was Corcoran’s last official day working for the airline, though for all practical purposes, he already left a few months ago. Many wondered why Corcoran cut ties with the company, so he posted the following to Twitter/X:

Today is OFFICIALLY my last day as Head of Social Media at Ryanair.

I toast it on a sunny island with my family looking back with great joy and disappointment of what else we could have built, BUT I have zero regrets on my decision.

I resigned on Aug 3rd and have spent the last 3 months on gardening leave. I could do the usual LinkedIn BS end of work fluff, but F*@k that. It’s not me.

So, strap yourself in.

Why did I leave…the question I’ve been asked and will get asked for another while. If asked I won’t lie, but I will be careful (high legal team)

So…what I’ll do is share some learnings with a little context below.

Thank you for flying Ryanair.

While Corcoran doesn’t address exactly what happened that caused him to quit, his explanation is quite something. I’d recommend reading the whole thing, but just to cover the five points he highlights (with further explanations at the link):

  • No matter how good you do, they’ll always be d*ckheads who bring you down
  • HR is there to protect the house
  • Your manager is NOT your friend
  • Everyone has their own agenda
  • Someone can still come across as nice and be an abusive bully

The Irish Independent had reported that it’s believed that five people in Ryanair’s social media team recently quit, following an incident with a senior executive. However, the company claims that this is “complete rubbish,” and that three people recently resigned, “which is to be expected given the strong demand which exists for Ryanair digital and IT specialists.”

Why Ryanair social media is epic

Most airlines have a pretty forgettable presence on social media. Some airlines just post updates about what’s going on at the carrier. Others maybe sometimes help customers. Ryanair has a completely different strategy. The airline believes that people come to social media to be entertained and to escape the rest of the world, and that’s something the airline does exceptionally well. Ryanair’s goal is to create brand awareness above all else.

Ryanair’s social media basically provides customer disservice. You have a complaint about the airline? Well, Ryanair is going to call you out, because what were you really expecting when you booked your ticket with Ryanair?

Bottom line

Ryanair’s head of social media has resigned, and he was pretty vocal about the reason for his departure. While he doesn’t go into detail, he describes a toxic work environment, and all kinds of other problems with management at the airline.

I imagine Corcoran will have no problem finding a job somewhere else where he’s valued more. He’s obviously a very bright guy, and I imagine he would innovate even if he worked for a company that didn’t actively tell annoyed customers to go pound sand. 😉

What do you make of this Ryanair social media drama?

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