New CEO’s Appointed To Sabre Airline Solutions And Travelocity


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New CEO’s Appointed To Sabre Airline Solutions And Travelocity

By Eddy Metcalf

April 5, 2011 - Sabre Holdings, the world’s leading travel technology company, has appointed Hugh Jones, current president and chief executive officer of Travelocity, to president of Sabre Airline Solutions.  

He will be replaced by Carl Sparks, current president of Gilt Groupe and a former online travel executive, who will assume the role of Travelocity president and CEO. Travelocity and Sabre Airline Solutions are business units of Sabre Holdings.  

In his new role, Jones will oversee the growth of Sabre Airline Solutions which provides technology solutions to the air transportation industry.

The unit has experienced significant growth in the past few years, signing reservations agreements with Virgin America, LAN Chile, Aeroflot, JetBlue, WestJet, and Philippine Airlines to name a few. Jones will now leverage his diverse experience at Sabre to accelerate the company’s plans to be the world’s leading software as a service business.  

Sparks, an experienced leader in the online retail industry with previous executive leadership roles at Expedia and Hotels websites, will take responsibility for the growth of Travelocity Global and its subsidiaries Travelocity Business, Travelocity Partner Network, IgoUgo, AllHotels, and lastminute in Europe and Zuji in Asia Pacific.  

“Both Hugh and Carl are exceptional leaders with proven success in today’s dynamic travel industry,” said Sam Gilliland, chairman and CEO of Sabre Holdings. “Their knowledge of the travel industry, global insight, passion for innovation and deep understanding of what our customers want will enable both businesses to thrive and be successful in today’s competitive industry,” he said.  

As president and CEO at Travelocity, Jones helped expand in new growth areas including media, Travelocity Partner Network and international. He oversaw the rollout of the company’s global hotel distribution platform and international shopping platform, and expanded the company’s presence in Latin America and India, in addition to strengthening its Europe and Asia businesses.


Jones’ move to Sabre Airline Solutions gives the business a well-rounded leader with experience spanning the entire travel industry. His tenure at Sabre has seen him in a number of executive roles including chief operating officer for Sabre Travel Network and Sabre Airline Solutions. Jones joined Sabre from American Airlines, and holds a master's degree in business administration from Southern Methodist University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin.

Sparks brings extensive experience with consumer brands, online retail and travel, most recently serving as president of Gilt Groupe. Prior to Gilt, he was general manager for hotels website, after serving as chief marketing officer at Expedia. Sparks also held leadership roles with other high-profile brands including Capital One, Guinness, PepsiCo and the Boston Consulting Group. Sparks holds a master's degree in business administration from Harvard Business School and a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University.

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