Travelport , a leading Travel Commerce Platform, today announced it has grown its investment to 55% in fast-growing Australian corporate travel technology company, Locomote, becoming its majority shareholder.
Travelport’s investment is an integral part of its ongoing strategy to redefine travel commerce to address previously unmet needs — in this case through the provision of state of the art digital and mobile services for business travellers.
Following the increased investment, Travelport, and Locomote founding investor and CEO, Philip Weinman, have jointly named Sandra McLeod as Locomote’s new CEO, whilst Weinman steps into a role as Vice Chairman.
McLeod brings to Locomote 25 years of highly varied, international experience within travel technology achieved during her career at Travelport; most recently as Group Vice President for Global Accounts and Corporate Development. In this role, McLeod had overall global responsibility for developing and executing a customer-focused strategy to service, support and help grow Travelport’s business with its largest global travel management companies (TMCs), as well as building direct relationships with the corporate travel buyers and in house travel managers at several of the world’s biggest corporations.
In his new role as Vice Chairman of Locomote, Philip Weinman will also provide broader strategic counsel and guidance to Travelport on its wider mobile and digital services strategy.
Meanwhile, Philip Emery, Travelport’s Chief Financial Officer, has been appointed as Chairman of the Locomote board. All appointments take immediate effect with McLeod transitioning into her new role based in Melbourne in the New Year.
Travelport’s President and CEO, Gordon Wilson, said that after Travelport’s initial investment in Locomote in 2013, the move to a majority stake is consistent with the company’s ongoing drive to develop new digital services and mobile capabilities for the travel industry.
“Corporate travel needs and demands, content, and the demographic make-up of travellers are all changing rapidly. Travelport intends to be at the forefront of these changes as we deploy our content and technology assets to address them. Locomote, which approached the market with a clean slate and a fresh approach, is a key part of how we envision the future. What has been done here is consistent with the vision that Philip Weinman and I mapped out together when we first began our association in 2013.
“Philip Weinman moving into the Vice Chairman role means that we will continue to benefit from his incredible business acumen, energy and insights into corporate travel technology and innovation. However, it also means that he will have more time to focus on providing counsel and advice to me and the rest of the team as we move forward with our digital services strategy on a global basis.
“I am also pleased that we have been able to further strengthen the Locomote board by appointing Philip Emery as Chairman. Not only will the business benefit from the contribution Philip will make as a key member of my global management team, but the appointment will create greater connectivity between Locomote and our other digital assets such as mobile travel commerce provider MTT and our B2B payments company, eNett,” said Wilson
Philip Weinman said that the strengthened partnership between the two companies will support Locomote to continue its focus on driving an improved corporate travel experience and to grow on an international scale.
“We’re excited to be strongly aligned with a global leader in the travel technology industry, which shares our vision and with whom we have now successfully partnered for two years to bring new and innovative products to the market. Moreover, I have worked closely with Sandra McLeod over this time and I strongly believe that her background and experience will be instrumental in taking Locomote through its next phase of growth while maintaining its entrepreneurial flair,” said Weinman.