12 January 2010

Changing of Old Guard at Amadeus c. 2011.

David Jones has signaled his (second attempt) at retiring.

He has set 2011 as the date for him to leave Amadeus and ride off into the sunset at the end of a long and some might say illustrious career.

He will be replaced by the current deputy CEO Luis Maroto who will become the 4th 1A CEO and in keeping with tradition adds another nationality to the list of CEOs. (Dierter Farber was German, Jose Tazon a citizen of Mexico and David is clearly British!)

An anointed one from the Night of the Long Knives when the team of King and Marshall re-crafted British Airways as a modern carrier - he has held a number of senior positions inside the Travel Industry.

Maroto has been with Amadeus for more than 10 years joining as Director of Marketing Finance. He came to the Madrid based GDS from Bertelsmann. He was promoted to CFO in 2003 and last year when David replaced Jose Tazon he was elevated to the Deputy slot. He holds a degree in Law from the Complutense University, Madrid, an MBA from the IESE Business School/University of Navarra and further postgraduate qualifications from HBS and Stanford.

Jones of course has much to do before he heads out. There is the small matter of the IPO. This time it looks like the timing is right. The Stock Markets are looking favorably on this type of business. HOWEVER the storm clouds on the horizon are not insignificant. There are challenges aplenty for the cash cow GDS business and the other lines of business are not achieving their financial goals. Clearly the appointment of Maroto will be focused on cleaning up the balance sheet and putting a little lipstick on in prep for the next trip to the public markets due this year. The early decision of Jones's retirement is a clear signal to the financial community.

Best wishes to both of them


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