Who’s Where in Travel: New Leadership at United, CWT M&E

New leadership in air travel and meetings and events lead this week’s jobs news in the travel industry. 

This week United Airlines announced that CEO Oscar Munoz will transition to the role of executive chairman of the board of directors of United Airlines Holdings, Inc., in May 2020. J. Scott Kirby, the airline’s current president, will step into the CEO role. Munoz will serve as executive chairman for a one-year term. Additionally, United’s current chairman, Jane Garvey, will retire from the board in May 2020 after more than a decade. The company also announced that Ted Philip will become lead independent director following the 2020 Annual Meeting of Shareholders.

In meetings and events news, CWT Meetings & Events reshaped its leadership structure this week. The new leadership team, reporting to Derek Sharp, aims to reflect the company’s new global operating model. The six members of the leadership team are:

  • Kari Wendel, VP strategic customers
  • Ian Cummings, VP commercial
  • Saskia Gentil, VP global sales and marketing
  • Nathan Brooks, global lead of supplier management
  • Cristina Scott, VP global operations
  • Stuart Whatley, head of product and technology strategy

In cruise news, Carnival Corporation promoted Anthony Kaufman to executive vice president, professional services, general counsel and chief ethics and compliance officer. In this new role, he oversees human resources, both shoreside and shipboard, information technology, legal and compliance. The company also promoted Natalya Leahy to chief financial officer for Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Seabourn and Carnival Australia, as well as all land operations. 

Cruise ship retailer Starboard Cruise Services named Stacy Shaw the leader of a newly created luxury division. As vice president, luxury division and retail experience development, Shaw will lead new business development efforts within the cruise sector and will identify partners in land-based luxury travel that are seeking highly curated retail experiences. Shaw most recently led the sales organization and business development efforts at Virgin Voyages

In hotel news, AHC+Hospitality announced the promotion of Nicholas Remes to regional general manager of AHC+Hospitality’s Marriott properties. In his new role, Remes will oversee operations at the JW Marriott Grand Rapids, Courtyard by Marriott Grand Rapids Downtown and the recently opened AC Hotel Grand Rapids Downtown.

Auberge Resorts Collection announced the appointment of Roger Ponce as general manager of Chileno Bay Resort & Residences in Cabo San Lucas, and regional vice president, Latin America. Ponce will have regional oversight of current and future hotels in Latin America, including Esperanza in Los Cabos, two new properties slated to open in 2021, Etéreo in Riviera Maya and Susurros del Corazon in Punta de Mita and Mukul, the Nicaragua property set to reopen late 2020.

A number of individual properties also made new leadership appointments this week:

The Higgins Hotel & Conference Center just opened with Daniel Rhodes as general manager and Marc Becker as director of sales and marketing. The property is an extension of the campus of the National WWII Museum in New Orleans.
Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa and Casino named Ashlee Barton its director of sales and marketing.
Pestana Park Avenue, set to open this January in New York City, announced that its general manager will be José Carlos Fernandes, while Esther Barbosa will be its director of sales and marketing.  
The Inn on Fifth & Club Level Suites in downtown Naples announced the promotion of Milena Maksimova to general manager and five other promotions and additions to the management team. Other internal promotions include Front of House Manager Miriam Graniel; Revenue Manager Shanda Williamson; and Club Level Manager Nancy Hernandez. New to the hotel’s executive team are Catering and Conference Services Manager Reena Felix and Group Sales Manager Tammy Smith

Finally, in tour operator news, Topdeck Travel and Blue-Roads Touring promoted Vicki Ioannou-Theophilou to director of business development for the Americas. In her new role, Vicki will oversee key distribution partners and develop, coordinate and implement new strategic plans to advance existing business and secure new sales opportunities.

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