Sabre Corporation, a leading software and technology company that powers the global travel industry, on Wednesday announced that it is separating the roles of president and chief executive officer as part of the company’s ongoing efforts to build a leadership team for the future of Sabre.
As of January 3, 2022, travel industry veteran Kurt Ekert will take over as president of Sabre and oversee all aspects of the company’s business and technology operations, including the company’s technology transformation.
Ekert has recently served five years as president and CEO of Carlson Worldwide Travel (CWT). There, he engineered a digital transformation and delivered material growth, highlighted by $7 billion in new business wins. Ekert brings a deep background in distribution, including as Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer at Travelport Worldwide, Ltd, where he led the operational turnaround that enabled a successful IPO in 2014.
At Sabre, Ekert will have direct responsibility for the company’s travel solutions and hospitality solutions businesses, technology engineering and operations and Sabre Labs.
Ekert will report to Sean Menke, who will continue to serve as CEO with a focus on accelerating the execution of the company’s strategic plans to focus and strengthen its business, achieve its vision and deliver long-term value to its stakeholders.
“We are focusing our strategic efforts to capitalize on post-pandemic opportunities and unlock shareholder value – all with an eye toward achieving our bold vision to create a new marketplace for personalized travel,” Menke said.
Along with Ekert, the company’s finance, legal, human resources and communications functions will report to Menke.
“The appointment of Kurt as president – with his extensive industry experience, especially in corporate travel management and global distribution – is a critical step toward achieving that goal,” Menke added.
Sabre also announced that effective January 1, 2022, Dave Shirk has elected to step down as president of Travel Solutions. Shirk will serve as a senior advisor to Menke and Ekert through 2022.