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New leader for Sabre Airline Solutions is Dave Shirk
Sabre have appointed Dave Shirk to lead the airline IT unit to replace Hugh Jones. Sabre have selected an executive with technology product management expertise rather than an airline industry executive. Dave arrives at a time when Sean Menke's team have some significant challenges ahead. They have to deliver a competitive product portfolio in the commercial systems segment against a competitor that has significant advantages in technology, economies of scale and service presence. T2RL's research suggests that price competition will intensify in the coming years as the PSS/GDS system providers seek to win the inventory system that prevents longer term disintermediation in the GDS business and locks in the industry marketing architecture of class, fares via ATPCO or other standards and schedules.
Published: 27 April 2017


SOUTHLAKE, TEXAS – APR 27, 2017 – Sabre Corporation (NASDAQ: SABR) has named Wade Jones as executive vice president and president of Sabre Travel Network and Dave Shirk as executive vice president and president of Sabre Airline Solutions.

Jones, currently serving as interim president of Travel Network – Sabre’s global marketplace that connects airlines, hotels, car rental companies and other travel providers with a worldwide network of travel agents and buyers – was previously senior vice president of marketing and strategy, and his appointment is effective immediately. Shirk, a technology industry veteran with a strong track record of portfolio management, product development and software services innovation, will lead the company’s Airline Solutions business that provides technology support to 225 airlines worldwide and will join the company on June 5.

Jones joined Sabre in 2015 in the product, marketing and strategy role for Travel Network globally. He was named interim president of Sabre Travel Network in December 2016 when Sean Menke was promoted to president and CEO of Sabre. Prior to joining Sabre, he held senior executive positions with marketplace technology companies, and he also spent more than 10 years with Barclaycard, leading the company’s U.K partnership business that provides customized, co-branded credit card programs for other companies across the travel, retail, financial services, and other industries. He received his master's degree in business administration from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and his undergraduate degree from Texas Christian University.

“Wade has been a valuable strategist and effective leader since he joined us in 2015. He has been a key player in helping us define where we can grow the Travel Network business and how the upcoming launch of our new Sabre Red Workspace can better serve our airline, hotel and other partners, as well the travel agents, corporate buyers and consumers who rely on the GDS,” said Menke.

“The last two years at Sabre have seen tremendous change as we get ready to roll out our new Sabre Red Workspace and the Sabre Red Platform to drive more customized and flexible ways to sell and buy travel,” said Jones. “We will continue to lead the industry and are committed to providing our travel industry partners with better ways to drive revenue and operational performance and serve the travel marketplace with better technology, customer experience, and data insights and analytical tools. I am excited to be leading the effort at Travel Network.”

Shirk will join Sabre from Kony, Inc., an industry leader in mobile application development, where he served as president and was responsible for the company’s extensive enterprise product portfolio, product management, product development, company strategy and global marketing. Kony supports customers across a wide range of industries, including banking, healthcare, energy, and travel – counting Regions Bank, Aetna, Engie and Cathay Pacific Airlines amongst its client base. He previously held senior executive positions at Computer Services Corp. (CSC), Hewlett-Packard, Siemens, and Oracle, among others. He holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration from The Ohio State University.

“Dave brings an impressive skillset, executive experience and a strong customer focus to Sabre, where he will be able to lead the next phase of growth and focus for our company and the hundreds of airline industry partners that use our solutions,” said Menke. “Our search focused on technology industry executives who could help us outpace the marketplace and continue to position Sabre as the most innovative technology provider to the airline industry. Dave will be able to make an immediate impact, and I look forward to him joining Sabre later this spring.”

Sabre announced in March that Hugh Jones would be leaving the company and his current position leading Airline Solutions this summer, after a 29-year career with the technology provider.

“Sabre has built an outstanding portfolio of solutions and a track record of technology leadership, but the opportunities ahead are even greater and demand even more innovation than what has already been accomplished,” said Shirk. “I was attracted by those opportunities, the growing travel industry sector that Sabre operates in, and the talented team that Sabre has assembled. I’m confident that my broad technology background and the strong position Sabre holds in the marketplace will combine to create plenty of runway for Sabre to expand the Airline Solutions business and solidify its position as the technology leader for the industry.”

Source https://www.sabre.com/insights/releases/sabre-names-new-executives-to-lead-travel-network-and-airline-solutions/


 
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