GBTA hires interim boss

ALEXANDRIA, USA, 16 July 2020: The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) has named travel industry leader Dave Hilfman as its interim executive director.

A whistleblower’s email posted in late June accused Global Business Travel Association CEO, Scott Solombrino, of misconduct almost three months after his high profile appointment at the end of March.

In response, GBTA confirmed the CEO had been placed on “administrative leave” following preliminary results of a probe of allegations of racism and staff harassment.

It has now appointed Hilfman, who retired from United Airlines as senior vice president of worldwide Sales in 2018, will step into the interim role effective immediately.

“Dave Hilfman is what our industry needs at this moment,” said Bhart Sarin, President of the GBTA Board. “Dave’s passion for business travel and for GBTA is matched only by his integrity and positive nature.”

Hilfman commented: “When you see what the travel industry is up against right now – both in terms of a worldwide pandemic and a global economic slowdown – this is a pivotal moment for all of us and for GBTA.”

In related news GBTA’s board of directors cancelled the 2020 convention, that was scheduled for November at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver.

Travel associations worldwide are suffering at the hands of Covid-19 as members tighten their belts and cut expenses. The US-based Association of Corporate Travel Executives closed shop last week, citing the double whammy of the Covid-19 pandemic that forced it to cancel the 2020 conference scheduled for New York and security issues in Hong Kong that forced the organisation to abandon its Asia conference in 2019.

More associations are likely to follow as revenue from events, and the drop in membership dues bites the bottom line.

(Background: BTN)