Journera boosts management, Didi secures new VPs, Travelodge gets technical, and more...NewsBy PhocusWire | September 30, 2016Share This article was originally published on This is a roundup for product news and announcements for travel PEOPLE MOVES in tourism and hospitality for September 2016.Friday 30 September 2016:Journera (formerly Dihedral) brings in travel veterans Journera, the experiences management startup, has recruited Shelly DeMott as chief product officer and Kevin Iverson as chief technology officer. Both have worked previously at Orbitz. The startup, founded by former Orbitz boss Jeff Katz, has also brought in Gary Doernhoefer as general counsel and Chris Bruce as vice president of commercial. Doernhoefer previously had similar roles at IATA and Orbitz while Bruce joins from the Boston Consulting Group, which formed the startup earlier this year alongside Katz.Thursday 29 September 2016:Didi names two new VPs China's transportation app Didi is beefing up its information security team, bringing in two "leading Silicon Valley specialists" to design its security architecture. Fengming Dong becomes its vice president of information security strategy while Zheng Bu has a specific cybersecurity role, also at VP level. Dong is also overseeing the launch of the Didi Research Institute in the US.Wednesday 28 September 2016:Travelodge creates CTO role UK independent hotel brand Travelodge has named Jonathan Greensted as its chief technology officer, a new role within the group. He moves up from within the group where he has been interim IT director. His tech-focussed CV includes stints at Flybe, Avis Budget and Travelport. Leisure Group adds rental pioneer to board The Dutch accommodation rental service will now include Carl Shepherd as a board member, following his career as co-founder and chief strategy and development officer at HomeAway. His addition coincides with the appointment of existing board member Bodo Thielmann (ex-Axel Springer) as chief financial and investment officer.Monday 26 September:HomeAway installs John Kim as its chief HomeAway's founder and CEO, Brian Sharples, will step aside for the chairman's role in the coming months. He'll be replaced by John Kim, former chief product officer at Expedia and one of the champions of that company's "test-and-learn" philosophy. Kim joined HomeAway in early 2016 as its chief ecommerce officer.Thursday 22 September:RedAwning.com adds another director Vacation rental marketing, reservations and channel management business RedAwning.com has named Wahid Razaqi as the latest director to join its business development team. He arrives from LesireLink and has previously worked at Groupon, Voyage Prive and Expedia.Wednesday 21 September 2016:Duetto boosts UK office Justin Sadler-Smith joins the hotel revenue management service provider as vice president of sales for EMEA, alongside Gary Torres as director of deployment. Sadler-Smith was most recently worldwide sales leader for procurement solutions at IBM, whilst Torres joins from DHISCO, where he was VP of global implementations.TripAdvisor pledges $5 million to refugee crisis The company says it will donate the money through its TripAdvisor Charitable Foundation over the next three years to help humanitarian efforts. The International Rescue Committee and Mercy Corps will also each receive $1 million over two years to help with their work.Tuesday 20 September 2016:Escapio CEO steps down Uwe Frers (also founder) will leave his position with the hotel website at the end of September 2016. The company sold to Mairdumont in 2015 and Frers stayed on to oversee the integration and transition, with Igor Schwartinski now taking over the reins.Friday 16 September 2016Peluso turns up at IBMTech giant IBM has named Michele Peluso as its first-ever vice president and chief marketing officer. Peluso is a veteran of the early days of online travel. She launched last-minute OTA Site59 in 1999 before selling it to Travelocity for $43 million in 2002, where she spent the next seven years as CEO.Thursday 15 September 2016:Dnata lures in Andy Washington The Emirates Group-owned travel services company have Washington runnings its B2C brands for DNata Travel Europe from December this year. Washington was previously managing director for Expedia in Northern Europe, with other stints at Lastminute.com and Thomas Cook.Tuesday 13 September 2016:TravelSupermarket gets new MD Nigel Pocklington joins the metasearch engine from eBookers (Expedia-owned) where he was president of the European online travel agency. He replaces Vic Darvey who has moved to an MD role at the mothership MoneySupermarket.Rocketrip hires ex-Salesforce VP The new chief revenue officer at the travel expenses platform will be Drew Sechrist. The former CEO of Koozoo until December 2014 has also worked for Salesforce, where he was vice president, high tech vertical.Revinate finds new product boss Dan Hang joins the online reputation management tech provider as chief product officer, moving in from Trulia where he led product development and strategy. Co-founder and current CPO Jay Ashton remains as a board member and advisor. Meanwhile, vice president of global business development, Josh Steinitz, is leaving for a new role at Amazon.Open Destinations has faith in Russell Former senior exec at Comtec and Vertical Systems, Mike Russell, joins the travel tech provider as chief operating officer. The company now has 400 staff in its UK and India offices, with clients ranging from Thomson to Abercrombie & Kent.Monday 12 September 2016:Rainmaker Group gets commercial Mike Cowles joins the revenue management and services provider as chief commercial officer, joining from SAP where he was senior vice president and general manager of its financial services division in the US. He also previously worked for Ariva and Accenture.Travelport creates Digital division Bryan Conway (ex-CMO, interim CEO of MTT, managing director EMEA and global head of commercial operations and supplier services) will head the new department within the company, aimed at overseeing and growing its digital assets and products. Travelport has also appointed Fiona Shanley to front a new customer and marketing organisation, joining from Microsoft where she was marketing and operations director in Switzerland.Thursday 8 SeptemberSabre APAC marketing move Jerome Thil has been named as the new vice president of marketing for Sabre Travel Network Asia Pacific. He joins from Amadeus where he was head of reservations, personalization and advertising. He will replace Martin Symes who is returning to the UK later this year after after 20 years in Asia.Wednesday 7 SeptemberSilverRail promotes Pitt Rail tech specialist SilverRail has named David Pitt as head of UK operations. He has spent the past two years with the business as an interim programme director. Before this he worked with Virgin Trains, EON and BT, among others.Tuesday 6 September 2016:Expensify heads down under The expense reporting platform has opened an office in the Australian city of Melbourne - it's second new city this year. The company landed in 2016 after establishing a presence in the US in both San Francisco and Ironwood, Michigan.Sabre flies into Qatar Ghassan Abu Khalaf, as country manager, will head operations at the company's new office in Qatar for Sabre Travel Network Middle East. The move follows the opening of offices in Iraq and Palestine, joining existing locations in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.Monday 5 September 2016:Hotelogix gets enterprising The company, which specialises in property management systems, has recruited Sivaprasad Gangadharan for the role of senior vice president for enterprise sales. Hotelogix is looking to expand into providing solutions for multi-property groups.HotelsPro appoints managing director Nevgul Bilsel Safkan takes up the reins at the reservation solutions specialist and has responsibility for offices in London, Shanghai, Orlando, Dubai and Istanbul. She was previously general manager at B2C ecommerce company Kliksa.Share this quote Thursday 1 September 2016:Thomas Cook switches digital responsibilities Gilles Despas has expanded his role as chief digital officer to add CMO duties to the brief. After eight years at Air France, Despas was vice president and managing director for continental Europe at eBookers before four years at Snapfish and HolidayCheck (where he was CEO). Current CMO Remo Masala becomes group creative director and UK ecommerce and marketing director, Jamie Queen, becomes group and UK marketing director.NB:Travel marketing image via Shutterstock.