THE Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) board has announced the appointment of Darren Rudd as CEO, effective from Monday, June 29.
AFTA chair Tom Manwaring said Mr Rudd was selected following a rigorous executive recruitment process.
“Darren is an outstanding choice, with a wealth of experience across business and stakeholder management. The skills and networks he brings to the role will be invaluable as we navigate the new and emerging industry landscape," Mr Manwaring said.
Mr Rudd is joining AFTA from the global information business Tata Consultancy Services, where he was head of corporate affairs in Australia and New Zealand for the past four years.
Mr Rudd brings to the organisation extensive experience in strategic marketing and corporate engagement, including 11 years as general manager of the Services Business Group Asia/Pacific for Alcatel-Lucent and five years as lead corporate affairs manager at NBN. The appointment also marks a full circle for the new CEO. Mr Rudd began his career in Hong Kong designing core Hotel Information Systems (HIS/IBM).
“Darren’s track record in successfully mapping and implementing campaigns that deliver results, his commitment to harnessing the immense power of our AFTA members through targeted grassroots activation, and his ability to identify and convert opportunities into real advantage were instrumental in him being selected for the role," Mr Mr Manwaring said.
Mr Rudd said, “It is an honour to join AFTA at this critical time. I look forward to working with members, the board and industry stakeholders as we work our way through the current economic difficulties and the challenges that lie ahead.
“The future is very different to that which we imagined six months ago. Yet travel and tourism remain cornerstones of the Australian economy. It is important that governments and regulators understand that getting the policy and regulatory settings right will not only help the sector but contribute substantially to the nation’s overall economic wellbeing.”
ENTERPRISE cloud computing group Nutanix has appointed Lee Thompson as managing director of Nutanix for Australia and New Zealand.
Based in Sydney, Mr Thompson will be responsible for driving customer acquisition and continued expansion of the company’s regional presence, with a focus on commercial and enterprise customers.
Mr Thompson’s comprehensive experience and cloud credentials should be a significant boost for Nutanix. He brings more than 20 years of leadership experience in Asia, Europe, North America and Australia to the role and joins after a short tenure at EziHub Australia as interim chief operations officer.
Prior to that he led Oracle/NetSuite as group vice president for the Japan Asia-Pacific region and was senior vice president of corporate sales at Salesforce Asia-Pacific – roles that together provided over a decade of frontline cloud exposure and experience. Mr Thompson has also held senior managerial positions at Borland, Artisoft and Pilot Software.
“We are witnessing a fundamental shift in the way corporate Australia and New Zealand does, and will do, business in the future.” Mr Thompson said. “Recent events have shown the importance of technology, and the critical role that cloud and hyper-converged infrastructure will play in helping secure our economy in the future.
“As the region looks to develop a new technology infrastructure for a post-COVID-19 world, Nutanix will be in a prime position to help support and navigate that transformation.”
Mr Thompson will report directly to Nutanix vice president for South Asia Pacific, Neville Vincent.
“Lee’s breadth of experience, international exposure and intimate understanding of the challenges facing modern businesses will help accelerate our A/NZ business to the next level,” Mr Vincent said.
“We have an outstanding, energised and highly motivated team already in place eager for the guidance and direction Lee can provide. Under his stewardship, we are confident we will be better placed to help A/NZ businesses adapt to the new post-pandemic reality.”
Mr Thompson’s appointment comes as Nutanix ramps up investment in the region. The company has increased its presence across both countries, expanded its sales and support teams and accelerated its customer acquisitions with more than 30 government agencies and some of the region’s largest and most prominent enterprises, including 20 of the ASX top 100.