Travelport announces changes at the top in Asia Pacific and Africa

22nd Mar 2014
Travelport announces changes at the top in Asia Pacific and Africa

Travelport, a leading distribution services and e-commerce provider for the global travel industry, has named seasoned travel industry leader, Mark Meehan, as its new managing director for Asia Pacific.

Currently managing director for Travelport Africa, Meehan brings a wealth of customer-focussed experience to the role, having held a number of high profile positions at Travelport over his 15 year tenure with the business.  In his role as Managing Director for Africa, Meehan demonstrated the ability to build strong customer and partner relationships and successfully grew the presence and scale of Travelport’s business in the region.

Before his posting to Africa, he held responsibility for the organisation’s global commercial operations and was charged with driving excellence in customer service and change across the global business including the introduction of important new customer initiatives including training programmes and enhanced help desk services.  Prior to this, Meehan led the integration of a number of acquired businesses in Italy, Denmark, the UK and Ireland.

He will take up his new position, which will be based in Singapore, in early April and report directly into Jason Clarke, Managing Director – Global Sales.  The appointment follows the decision of incumbent, Patrick Andres, to leave the company at the end of April to pursue opportunities more aligned to his background in the hospitality technology and distribution sector.

Meanwhile, in Africa, as a result of the company’s recently expanded network and ongoing growth ambitions in the continent, where it has been investing steadily over the last couple of years, a new leadership team has been appointed to run three newly-established Travelport sub-regions:


North Africa will be managed by Stuart Laird-Smith.  Laird-Smith joined Travelport in 2012 as head of commercial strategy for the Middle East and Africa.  Based in Dubai, over recent months he has been focused on developing Travelport’s presence in the Northern Africa region and enhancing the strategic partnerships with both existing and new third party distributors.

Central, East and West Africa will be led by Peter Barry who joined Travelport last month.  Barry brings extensive management experience to the role having worked for a number of high profile travel companies including BA, Virgin and most recently Menzies Aviation in Johannesburg.  Last summer, Travelport established new direct operations for travel agents in Kenya in response to the region’s rapidly growing travel industry.

Southern Africa will be run by George Harb, previously managing director for Travelport China.  Harb, who also brings extensive international GDS experience to the role, will be responsible for overseeing Travelport’s direct operation in Southern Africa as well as managing key third party relationships.  Robyn Christie, general manager for South Africa, will report into Harb.

All of the above regional directors will report into Rabih Saab, managing director for Africa, the Middle East and South Asia.

Commenting on the appointments, Jason Clarke, Travelport’s managing director, global sales, said:

“The appointments we are announcing today are all designed to further accelerate the execution of Travelport’s strategic plan in two of the world’s fastest growing travel regions – Africa and Asia Pacific.  Mark is a proven leader and a superb operator - he has been hugely successful running our business in Africa where we have seen our operations and customer relationships grow rapidly.  I am confident he will soon be as highly regarded by both customers and employees in the Asia Pacific region as he has been in Africa.  Meanwhile, the new senior team we have appointed to replace him in Africa will provide a highly customer-centric approach to the very diverse needs of each of the sub-regions.  I wish them all well in their new roles.

Clarke added: “On a personal note, I would also like to thank Patrick for the many benefits he has brought Travelport.  His business acumen and customer focus have provided a great foundation for our business going forward and I wish him every success for the future.”


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