J.D. O’Hara has been appointed CEO of Travel Leaders Group, taking over for Ninan Chacko, who has resigned to pursue other opportunities. The move is effective immediately.
O’Hara has served as president of Travel Leaders Group for the past year, working closely with Chacko. During his time as president, O’Hara has been responsible for managing the company’s operating divisions, as well as mergers and acquisition activities and strategic planning. His focus has been on partnering with the business division leaders to address specific needs of the individual brands, while continuing to enhance the travel advisor and agency value proposition. His new role will also include oversight of the center functions including the finance, information technology, supplier relations, human resources, marketing and legal departments, as well as the executive leadership team. He will continue to serve on the Board of Directors.
Prior to joining Travel Leaders Group in 2018, O’Hara was senior partner at Certares Management, LLC, owner of Travel Leaders Group. O’Hara has had a long association with Travel Leaders Group. He was part of the original management buyout of Carlson Leisure Group from Carlson Companies in January 2008 that eventually led to the formation of Travel Leaders Group and has served a key role in Travel Leaders Group’s ongoing growth since the company’s inception, Travel Leaders said.
In his various operating roles within Travel Leaders Group and as a member of the company’s Board of Directors, O’Hara has had direct oversight of Travel Leaders Group’s investment activity, including the mergers and acquisitions of Tzell Travel Group, Nexion Travel Group, Vacation.com, Protravel International, Andrew Harper Travel and ALTOUR. As the company sought to expand beyond its core U.S. footprint, O’Hara led Travel Leaders Group’s international growth strategy with the acquisitions of Mexico-based Corporate Travel Services, and UK-based agencies Colletts Travel and Barrhead Travel, as well as event services company YES.
Prior to joining Travel Leaders Group, O’Hara served in the investment banking industry at Lehman Brothers in New York. He received a Master of Business Administration from Vanderbilt University and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.