• Cendant hires troubleshooting CEO for travel

Cendant has hired a new CEO for its travel distribution services division which is scheduled to be spun-off this June as Travelport.
   The Orbitz to Cheaptickets.com business, which is the world's third biggest online travel intermediary, hopes the move will change its fortunes after a challenging year.
   A key emphasis for 2006 is to boost hotel bookings. Its Octopus brand is the exclusive provider of hotel bookings for more than 75 airlines, including Europe's biggest budget airline Ryanair.
   It also has ratestogo and hotelclub which provide last minute inventory and a membership base.
   When Cendant announced it was splitting into four last October, it was expected that chairman Henry Silverman would be the CEO of the travel division. But problems with the acquisition of Ebookers meant he has plumped to go with the real estate division instead.
   The new CEO of Travelport is Jeff Clarke, currently chief operating officer at Computer Associates, the management software company, and is described as a rising star of the technology sector.
   Clarke established a reputation as a successful turnaround specialist after reviving the fortunes at CA following its accounting scandal.
   The former chairman of Continental Airlines, Gordon Bethune, was hired last month by Cendant to be chairman of Travelport in an earlier move to bolster the division.
   Hoteliers have damaged trade at online intermediaries by taking back rooms inventory they had previously showered on such operators via the merchant model. But Travelport believes it can use its Gullivers brand to build on long-term relationships with hotel groups to ensure it maintains content.

Share →