Skyscanner has recruited IT industry veteran John Nicholson as its chairman bringing on board a wealth of commercial expertise as it builds the first search engine to cover every commercial flight in the world. Nicholson has a strong track record in advising emerging and high-growth technology businesses, underpinned by more than 25 years international experience at a senior level in the information technology industry.
Skyscanner Chief Executive Gareth Williams said: “It is a real coup for us to get John Nicholson on board. He is a very dynamic and focussed individual with a strong global network, a deep understanding of the technology sector and invaluable experience of working successfully with high-growth companies.”
Nicholson, who is on the board of several leading-edge technology businesses, has worked in Europe, Australia and the United States. His previous posts include Vice President, Customer Relationship Management and Business Intelligence with Compaq.
For the last six years Nicholson has worked successfully with venture capital funds and investors to assist venture-backed companies. Skyscanner, which was founded in Scotland in 2003 by CEO Williams and fellow entrepreneurs Bonamy Grimes and Barry Smith, raised £2.5 million in venture capital backing from Scottish Equity Partners last November to execute its global growth strategy.
Nicholson commented: “Skyscanner is led by a fantastically capable team which has developed a highly innovative and valuable offering for consumers and the travel industry. With SEP on board as its backer, this is a very strong combination. I’m excited about this opportunity to help the company achieve its full potential.”
Nicholson is currently Chairman of Office-Shadow Ltd, an award-winning business continuity software provider. He is also Non-Executive Director on two of SEP’s portfolio companies including Nallatech, a leader in high performance computing; and VirtenSys, innovators in IT solutions which improve data centre performance.
He is also a Trustee of The e-Learning Foundation, a charity that aims to bridge the digital divide and give all children access to technology for learning, irrespective of their background.
Skyscanner, whose free-to-use multi-lingual website www.skyscanner.net already attracts more than one million price enquiries per day, displays prices from more than 180 airlines, including low-cost airlines, to more than 5,000 global destinations.
The website, which is expanding rapidly, gives travellers a speedy, efficient and comprehensive choice of airlines to their chosen destination with the added benefit of direct links to airline websites, making it easy to book bargain flights.
Skyscanner is rapidly emerging as the flight search engine of choice as it offers a flexible easy-to-use system and helpful features such as a Multi-Hop flight search facility and suggestions for short breaks and holiday destinations. Unlike rivals, travellers do not have to specify an exact date of travel in order to obtain price information.
It is popular with consumers seeking bargain flights and also airlines as Skyscanner has become established as an industry leader for its track record of converting click-through site visits to airline ticket sales.