SITA has confirmed the appointment of Francesco
Violante as CEO-designate as part of an overall transformation of the
travel-tech company which had 2004 revenues of US$1.582 billion.Violante, (55), an Italian national, takes on the role, effective July 1, following
three successful years as Managing Director of SITA INC (Information, Networking,
Computing), which focuses on IT solutions and applications for airports, airlines,
flight communications and air cargo.
In June, SITA’s Annual General Assembly will consider a Board recommendation to
combine SITA INC with SITA SC, which was founded in 1949 to create a shared
communications platform for the world’s airlines. This strategic move positions
the company uniquely in the marketplace to deliver end-to-end IT and communications
solutions and services that will help the industry reduce costs, manage complexity
and improve the passenger experience. Importantly the proposed changes will improve
global customer service through one integrated customer facing organization.
Since Violante took over SITA INC, the company has witnessed unprecedented growth
including the generation of new contracts worth $1 billion over the last two years.
Mr. Violante said: “I feel privileged to have been chosen by the SITA Board to head
the new organization at such an exciting juncture in its history. I look forward to
leading SITA into the future, building on the joint achievements of the current
management team, and developing SITA’s unique position and potential at the heart
of the air transport industry.”
Paul Coby, Chairman of SITA said, “I am delighted that Francesco will be the CEO of
SITA. The SITA Board chose him because of his successful leadership of SITA INC over
the last few years. He has broadened SITA’s portfolio of solutions and has grown
the business through new subsidiaries, OnAir and Champ Cargosystems and scored a
notable industry first through the recent completion of a ten-year IT outsourcing
deal with Dusseldorf Airport. During his time at SITA INC he has achieved his
financial and operational targets year-on-year.”
“In concert with Francesco, Hans-Peter Kohlhammer, SITA SC Director General and
Peter Buecking, SITA President, have delivered excellent results which have enabled
SITA and our customers to meet the cost pressures of the industry we serve. Their
work has ensured that we have a solid foundation for the next stage of SITA’s
Completing their three-year contracts at the end of June, Kohlhammer and Buecking
will both support the transition to the new organizational structure before moving
on to new personal and professional projects.
Mr. Coby concluded “The Board is confident that Francesco will provide the strong
and inspirational leadership that SITA needs to keep it at the heart of the air
Prior to joining SITA, Violante held executive positions in EDS, Telecom Italia and
Digital Equipment Corporation. He is Chairman of the Board of both CHAMP
Cargosystems and OnAir. He is also a non-executive member of the Board of Directors
of IONA, a middleware software company based in Ireland and listed on NASDAQ.