This Brit import -- Christopher Loughlin, the new CEO of Travelzoo -- doesn't want a revolution.
But, Loughlin does want to change the world.
As announced in November, Loughlin, who ran the travel-media company's European business since 2005, became CEO July 1, as former CEO Holger Bartel transitioned to chairman of the board, and founder and majority stockholder Ralph Bartel moved over to a director's slot.
Loughlin, 36, who's moving with his wife and two young daughters to Manhattan, where Travelzoo is headquartered, becomes one of the youngest CEOs of a Nasdaq-traded company.
A day after he took over, over porridge at breakfast at the Jumeirah Essex House Hotel on Central Park South in Manhattan, Loughlin explains his mission.
"My job is to continue the great progress we have made," Loughlin says. "There is no need for a revolution here. It's a case of continuing to execute very, very well against our strategy."
Loughlin points to Travelzoo's 24% increase in first quarter revenue to $28.5 million as a symbol of that success and offers that the company's European businesses are on a "path to profitability." [The U.K. business already is profitable.]
It's all about execution and focus, according to Loughlin, and not being unduly swayed by the competition.
"Anyone who runs a business will tell you the same thing," Loughlin says. "You can worry about all sorts of other things. You can worry about competition. So what, there's always been competition. There's competition to get your girlfriend at school. You shouldn't worry about competition. You should worry about what you're doing and make sure you are doing it well."
Loughlin even enlists the sage advice of Mr. Whitley, his former headmaster at Lindisfarne College in N. Wales, who lectured the 350 students at the boarding school on the perils of distraction and "what if."
"You can't live by 'what if,'" Loughlin says. "What if indeed is one of the most useless terms in the English language."
Loughlin does want to make some changes at Travelzoo, though.
For the next few months he'll be working on a marketing plan in an attempt to turn Travelzoo into a top 100 global brand.
Loughlin notes that Travelzoo has long run online, print and outdoor advertising, and its Fly.com flight metasearch unit has been testing TV ads.
"We've done things like this in the past on an ad hoc basis," he says. "Now it's about building a brand communications platform to take us to the next level."
"I don't want to change the brand, I don't want to change what it stands for," Loughlin says. "I think it's perfect. I don't want to change the colors -- all I want to do is to let people know about it."
Of course, Travelzoo will have to consider how to balance a potential increase in marketing expenditures with the bottom-line demands of large shareholders, some of whom were slated to meet with Loughlin this week.
He argues that Travelzoo, founded in 1998, spent the last 12 years honing the product, and now must get the word out.
"I feel a little bit like we are Starbucks Coffee in their early stage -- everyone knows you get great coffee there," Loughlin says. "They started expanding around the world. There were a few shops around the world. Now, it's time to unleash the message into the broader market."
As Loughlin works on the advertising plan and attempts to ramp up Travelzoo's businesses in Europe, one thing he doesn't need to focus on at the moment is the company's former operations, which were spun off last year to a company controlled by Ralph Bartel.
Travelzoo provides hosting services to these businesses, enables them to license the Travelzoo brand and has an option to buy their assets from 2011 to 2020.
Loughlin says Travelzoo might consider buying the Asia-Pacific businesses in the future if it were deemed beneficial to Travelzoo's shareholders.
"We took a strategic decision to focus on Europe," Loughlin says. "The U.K. is now profitable and the overall European business is on the path to profitability. And, the Fly.com business is a very attractive opportunity for us because we [Travelzoo] have 20 million subscribers around the world."
So Laughlin says he isn't thinking much about the Asia-Pacific businesses for now.
That's probably smart because Mr. Whitley, the new CEO's former headmaster, would probably advise Loughlin not to focus on the "what if's" for now.