Travel Tech Vet Sue Powers Retires

Travel industry veteran Sue Powers is retiring after a 30-year career. Most recently serving as the leader of Travelport's Airline IT Solutions group, Powers also worked for United Airlines, Covia (Apollo) and Worldspan. The announcement came as part of Travelport's restructuring of the airline IT group and Commercial GDS division, both of which will be combined under the leadership of Travelport chief commercial officer Kurt Ekert.

The airline IT group will be lead by former Hewlett-Packard executive Derek Sharp, with "all IT application development" headed by chief information officer Mark Ryan. Within the GDS team, Bryan Conway (currently president and managing director for the Middle East and Africa) has been promoted to senior vice president of global commercial operations, responsible for deploying Travelport's new products, including the Universal Desktop, e-Pricing and the Universal API. "He will also own Travelport's global strategy for airlines and other customers for whom Travelport provides vital global distribution services," according to the company.

Meanwhile, Travelport appointed John Hall as president of corporate sales, leading the team "which engages directly with corporate travel buyers for online corporate booking tools such as Traversa, and other software and services developed for the corporate travel sector and provided through Travelport's third-party technology partnerships."

Also, Jason Clarke, who now heads up Travelport's global operations, will assume the post of president and managing director for Europe, replacing Olaf Gueldner, who has decided to leave Travelport.

According to Travelport deputy group CEO Gordon Wilson, the restructuring would "enable an even tighter alignment of Travelport around the commercial objectives of our customers" and "better enable Travelport to commence the large-scale introduction of its new products."

"On both a personal and professional level, I would like to thank Sue and Olaf for their notable contribution and commitment to our business," Wilson continued. "Sue specifically for her role in growing our AITS business, and, prior to that, operating as CIO for Travelport and Olaf for his contribution to our market-leading position in many European countries. I wish Sue the very best for a long and healthy retirement and Olaf every success in his future career."