Travel Agents

Flight Centre restructures leadership team, appoints two global CEOs (and a new Aussie MD)

Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG) has expanded its global leadership team to increase the focus on leisure and corporate travel growth.

The company announced this morning that two of its most senior executives, Chris Galanty and Melanie Waters-Ryan, would move into newly created CEO roles responsible for FCTG’s corporate and leisure businesses respectively.

Galanty was formerly the head of FCTG’s Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) business.

In his new role, he will continue to be based in London and will be responsible for FCTG’s corporate travel businesses, and will also oversee corporate-related transformation initiatives and strategies.

Waters-Ryan was formerly the company’s chief operating officer. She will continue to be based in Brisbane and will be responsible for growing FCTG’s leisure businesses across Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, the UK, the US, Canada, and India.

Waters-Ryan will also oversee The Travel Group, FCTG’s network of in-destination businesses, and the various leisure-related transformation initiatives that are underway.

Three new regional managing directors will join Galanty, Waters-Ryan and chief financial officer Adam Campbell on FCTG’s global leadership team from 1 January 2020.

EMEA corporate leader Steve Norris will succeed Galanty as FCTG’s London-based EMEA boss. Norris has worked for FCTG since 2003 in a career that has spanned the leisure, corporate and wholesale businesses.

Australian corporate leader James Kavanagh will be promoted to the new Brisbane-based role of Australian MD. Kavanagh has 23 years’ industry experience and has worked for FCTG since 2004.

American corporate leader Charlene Leiss, will succeed Dean Smith as MD for the Americas. Leiss has worked for FCTG and Garber Travel, a Boston-based corporate business that FCTG acquired, for 24 years.

FCTG boss Graham “Skroo” Turner said that Smith, who is based in New Jersey, will work alongside Waters-Ryan in a strategic global leisure role through to 30 June 2020, when he has decided to retire.

“These enhancements reflect the importance and size of both our leisure and corporate businesses and underline our global growth ambitions in both sectors,” Turner said.

“As a company, more and more of our strategic decisions are being made based on business type, rather than being based on geographic considerations.”

Turner noted that in Australia, Waters-Ryan will work closely with the company’s leisure leaders to improve performance in its established businesses.

She will also work to fast-track growth in new and emerging sectors and channels that are performing well in Australia and driving TTV growth, but not yet generating significant profits, according to Turner

“These sectors and channels include online, home-based agents/independent contractors and ready-made packages, which the company targets through the Ignite business,” he said.