Yapta.com is appointing Karim Meghji as vice president of product, and Valerie Layman as vice president of business development. Together they will help spearhead the advancement of Yapta’s business services offering for online travel agencies, credit card providers, and other travel services providers.
Both Valerie and Karim are Seattle natives and seasoned executives that deepen Yapta’s roots in online travel and digital services.
Karim held various roles over his 10 years at Real Networks where he worked alongside Yapta CEO, Tom Romary. Before leaving Real Networks, Karim was Vice President of Music Software and Services, overseeing Real’s award-winning music subscription service, Rhapsody. Karim was a key member of the team that led the successful delivery of Rhapsody to portable, mobile and living room devices. Karim was also responsible for a number of successful product and business initiatives including partnerships with BestBuy, Sandisk, Google and Rolling Stone.
“Karim brings deep experience in product innovation and executive leadership, and has an enthusiasm that is infectious,” said Tom Romary, Yapta co-founder and CEO. “We are thrilled about the contributions he will make as a member of the Yapta team.”
Meanwhile, Valerie comes to Yapta from Orbitz, where she worked with current Yapta board member, David Falter, as part of the company’s corporate travel division, serving as Director of Product Management. As champion of the OrbitzforBusiness Product, Valerie delivered both online and offline capabilities which expanded the customer base and differentiated Orbitz from its competitors. While at Orbitz, she was also responsible for managing many of the company’s direct-connect relationships with various travel suppliers.
“Valerie is a respected leader in the travel industry, and her strategic insight and experience will benefit our customers and partners directly,” Romary said. “The company is excited about her ability to drive change and grow our services business to deliver even more value to leisure and corporate travelers.”