Opodo is planning to become a more decentralised entity with stronger local presence.
To date the company has been structured around a centralised model with local branch sales and marketing offices in the key countries in which Opodo operates. The objective has always been to offer a bespoke service in each market, ensuring that the sites and products are tailored to meet the needs of the local consumer. Going forward, and in order to better meet this objective, the company is restructuring to focus on a more decentralised model whereby each market will assume complete responsibility for all product, operational and commercial objectives as well as for sales and marketing initiatives. This will allow each market to react to changing conditions, quickly and effectively, adding additional local content and products where desirable.
Technology will continue to be controlled centrally at the London office where investment will continue to be made in Opodo’s state-of-the-art booking engine. The support functions of Finance, HR, Legal and Communications will also remain centrally based.
The new Executive team to reflect the above direction will consist of Ignacio Martos, CEO, Sam Jabbour, IT Director and a yet to be appointed Finance Director, all of whom will be based in the UK, as well as the Directors responsible for each of the key markets - Peter Carlsson (Director of Scandinavia), Petra Friedmann (Director of France), Thomas Reiter (Director of Germany) and Roberto Riccio (Director of Italy). A Director of the UK has yet to be appointed, however for the interim Caroline Noble, currently Head of Operations for Opodo, will become Acting UK Director.
Commenting on the restructure, Ignacio Martos, CEO of Opodo said “Opodo has achieved great success to date to become one of the leading pan-European online travel brands operating in nine markets and with sales of around €1.2 billion for 2006. However the Internet is a fast developing medium and in order to be able to react immediately to changing needs and conditions, it is imperative that our markets are able to achieve a high degree of flexibility and autonomy.
“This new structure should better allow us to continue to provide our customers and partners with an excellent online travel service and to deliver a consistently improving financial performance.”
As a consequence of this restructure, a number of jobs within the Opodo central team may be made redundant. A formal consultation process is underway with the aim to inform all employees likely to be affected by the end of February.
Amadeus supports the plan and remains fully committed to the success of Opodo.