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Amadeus Americas CEO Kay Urban to RetireFebruary 4, 2011 By: Asher Fusco
Kay Urban, CEO of Amadeus Americas, announced on Friday that she will retire effective March 31. Urban has worked in the business for 34 years.
"It has been my absolute pleasure and honor to be part of such a dynamic, global industry," Urban said. "Never could I have imagined while driving to my first day of reservation training at Eastern Airlines so many years ago, that I would fall in love with the travel industry and the wonderful people that comprise it."
Philippe Chérèque, the executive vice president of commercial operations for Amadeus worldwide, said Urban's commitment and contributions will be missed by Amadeus and the travel industry.
"Kay leaves a tremendous legacy in the travel industry," said Chérèque. "For over three decades, her leadership and dedication to the travel industry, her customers, her employees, and to Amadeus have never wavered, even through the many challenges and changes we’ve seen over the years."
Urban began her travel industry career in 1977 as a reservations agent for Eastern Airlines. She was on the ground floor of travel distribution when in 1982 she joined Industry Automation, which subsequently became System One. Beginning in 1986, Urban held positions in strategic planning and customer support. She subsequently advanced through several key executive management positions of increasing scope and responsibility, through System One's acquisition by Amadeus in 1997. Prior to her current position, Urban served as executive vice president and chief operating officer for Amadeus North America and previously as vice president of customer support and operations.
Over the years, Urban has been frequently sought out as a thought-leader and well-received speaker in the travel industry. Shee has been named by Travel Agent among the "Most Powerful Women in Travel" and by the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) as a Distinguished Fellow.
Gutz Takes Over April 1
In his new role, Scott Gutz will direct Amadeus’ distribution initiatives, including sales and marketing, commercial operations, strategic planning, business development, product development, and customer training and support for Amadeus' travel agency, travel supplier and specialty customers in the U.S. and Canada. Gutz was formerly the COO of Amadeus North America.
Chérèque said over the coming weeks Urban will work closely with Gutz to ensure a smooth transition related to the distribution duties of his new role.
Prior to his role as COO, Gutz served as senior vice president of E-commerce, where he led the commercial, product and support activities for Amadeus’ North American corporate, airline and leisure e-commerce customers, working in close conjunction with multinational travel agency partners.