travel people

TransferTravel CSO, TravelRepublic MD, ETTSA boss moves on, and more

This is a roundup of announcements related to people moves and business expansions in travel in July 2018.

Monday 30 July

TransferTravel gets strategic

  • has appointed Bee Dahl as chief strategy officer. The site describes itself as the “ebay of travel” with a platform that allows people to sell non-refundable travel products such as flights, holidays, hotel rooms and cruises. Dahl joins the business from Roomer Travel, where she was senior director of strategic partnerships. Her CV also includes roles with Kuoni and Hotelbeds.

Tuesday 24 July

Traveltek steps up regional push

  • The travel tech supplier has named Monika Holland as its new vice president of sales for Europe. She will be based in the Netherlands and her brief covers central/southern Europe and Scandinavia. She joins from group booking specialist HotelPlanner and her CV also features time with Expedia, Best Western and Accor.

Dnata rebuilds UK top team

  • Travel Republic, the UK-based online travel agent, has named Frank Rejwan as managing director, overseeing sales, marketing, product, commercial and operations. Travel Republic is part of dnata, Emirates Group’s wholly owned B2B/B2C travel unit.

Monday 23 July

Klenner joins TraNeXus

  • Christoph Klenner, currently  secretary general of European Technology & Travel Services Association (ETTSA), is joining  TraNeXus as CEO. The Irish business is a blockchain technology solutions provider to the global travel and tourism industry. Klenner has been with ETTSA for nine years and takes up his new role this September.

Thursday 19 July

Sabre creates Travel Solutions unit, brings in Google engineer for Labs

  • Sabre has promoted Dave Shirk to executive vice president and president of Travel Solutions, a new unit that includes Travel Network, Airline Solutions and data and analytics solutions. It “represents the natural evolution of Sabre’s strategy to unify efforts across all channels of retailing, distribution and fulfilment”. Shirk was head of Airline Solutions, and Sabre has started looking for a replacement, as well as someone to head up data and analytics for Travel Solutions. Wade Jones will continue as EVP/president of Travel Solutions and will report in to Shirk.Elsewhere, Sundar Narasimhan will join Sabre as SVP/president of Sabre Labs and product strategy, reporting in to CEO Sam Menke. He joins from Google. His most recent role as director of engineering was overseeing it hospitality efforts. He is also close to Google’s flights product, having been CTO for ITA Software when it was acquired by Google in 2011.

Wednesday 18 July

Guesty books new COO

  • The property rentals platform and tech provider has named Vered Raviv Schwarz as its new chief operating officer. She will be based in Tel Aviv and oversee its global operations. She has spent the past six years as COO of Fiverr, an online marketplace for freelancers. Her CV includes stints in ad-tech (Kenshoo), cybersecurity (Radware) and ad consultancy (MediaMind). Guesty picked up a $20 million Series B this April.

Avvio prepares to expand

  • Michael De Jongh has been named as chief commercial officer for the hotel direct booking specialist, tasked with overseeing “a new phase of growth and expansion into new territories.” He joins from enterprise software specialist Sage and has senior sales experience across a number of tech companies such as Syniverse, Sybase and Judo. His role at Avvio also gets him a seat on its board.

Tuesday 17 July

Immfly appoints Vueling veteran

  • Immfly, the Barcelona-based in-flight digital services, entertainment and e-commerce specialist, has appointed  Maria Cardenal to head up its product and innovation department. She joins from Spanish airline and IAG brand Vueling, where she was head of innovation, involved with IAG’s accelerator Hangar 51. She also held roles as head of product development and ancillary revenues and was part of the team which set up Clickair, a Spanish LCC which merged with Vueling in 2009.

Monday 16 July

Traveltek brings in new CTO

  • Traveltek has named Kenny Millar as its new chief technology officer, effective immediately. He replaces Richard Smith who takes on the role of chief architect. Kenny Picken, president and CEO of the Scotland-based travel technology supplier, noted Millar’s three-decades-worth of experience, including senior engineering and software development roles at Cisco Systems and Amazon.

Thursday 12 July

Zomato sources senior exec from MakeMyTrip

  • Mohit Gutpa, who has held a number of senior roles at India’s biggest OTA MakeMyTrip, has joined Zomato as CEO of its food delivery unit. He was most recently chief operating officer – online. He joins Zomato as the B2B/B2C restaurant and food tech specialist celebrates its tenth anniversary.

Wednesday 11 July

Coppens steps down at OTA Insight

  • Sean Fitzpatrick is taking over from Adriaan Coppens as CEO for OTA Insight with immediate effect. Coppens is leaving for family reasons, which he explained in a blog post. but will serve as a non-exec director. Fitzpatrick joins from HotSchedules, a B2B mobile tech provider to restaurants, hospitality and retail trade based in Texas. He was its chief operating officer and head of product.

Monday 9 July

OnTheBeach secures new HQ

  • UK-listed OTA OnTheBeach is moving to a new HQ in the centre of Manchester, taking a 10-year lease on a 34,500 sq ft former aircraft components factory. The move will accommodate the expansion of the beach holiday specialist’s digital team from 200 to more than 350 over the next three-to-five years, with development, design, marketing, product and business analysis roles the priority.

Thursday July 5

CWT looks outside travel

  • Rachel O’Brien is taking over as the chief technology transformation officer for Carlson Wagonlit Travel. Her VP role is effective immediately and covers “governing, reporting, measuring and budgeting across the product and technology organization”. She has digital transformation experience from roles outside travel – including Santander, Penguin Group and most recently Ladbrokes Coral. At CWT she reports in to CTO Andrew Jordan.

Tuesday 3 July

Culture Trip creates SVP Travel role

  • Travel inspiration site Culture Trip has brought in Andy Washington to launch its new online booking division. Washington was, most recently, CEO B2C Europe for Emirates-owned dnata and his CV includes stints as MD for Expedia Northern Europe and for ebookers in EMEA. He has also worked for and Thomas Cook. He reports in to Culture Trip COO Jeff Szczepanski. Culture Trip picked up an $80 million Series B funding round this April.

New non-exec for OnTheBeach

  • UK-listed OTA OnTheBeach has named Elaine O’Donnell as a non-exec director. O’Donnell has a portfolio of non-execs and chairs. However, she also spent 20 years as a partner at Ernst & Young, becoming a partner specialising in corporate finance and M&A. OnTheBeach CEO Simon Cooper noted her “wealth of experience across a range of businesses and M&A expertise…”

Monday 2 July 2018

Travelstart appoints CMO

  • Africa-focussed OTA Travelstart has named Jerome Touze as its chief marketing officer. Touze is well known as the co-founder of Wayn, the travel and lifestyle social networking site which launched in 2002 and which was sold to Group in 2016. Travelstart is based in South Africa and has 13 points of sale in Africa, the Middle East and Turkey. It picked up $40m funding in early 2016.


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