travel people

Immfly gets innovative, Traveltek’s CTO move, new CEO for OTA Insight, and more

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

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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