Cheapflights restructures boardroom and sets new growth target

Cheapflights is aiming to be one of the top travel media companies in the world after a “restructuring and refocusing” of the business which includes the appointment of Hugo Burge as executive chairman.

The price comparison service is also expecting to accelerate its expansion programme into new territories and is hoping grow the company ten-fold over the course of the next three to five years.

A shake-up of the Cheapflights boardroom has seen Burge installed as the company’s first executive chairman and Mo Bulbrook promoted to executive director.

Chris Cuddy will remain as chief executive and David Soskin becomes a non-executive director. Existing non-executive chairman John Claire has left the organisation.

Burge told Travolution the company is currently in the top five travel media firms in the world, amongst the likes of Tripadvisor, Kayak and Travelzoo.

“Our ambition is to be in the top three or higher,” he explained this week.

Burge admitted the company had been “distracted” over the past 18 months with an unsuccessful strategy to seek liquidity for the company in the form of a floatation, new investment or sale.

It is understood that valuations it received – hit in part due to the slowing down of the economy – did not meet the board’s expectations triggering a change the strategy implemented earlier this year.

“There was a lot of soul searching over the Christmas period [2008] but we then decided to completely refocus the company,” Burge explained.

“We are ambitious and we are continually evolving – but we can do better.”

Burge would not confirm details of new country sites included in the expansion roadmap but said the roll-out programme would be increased, helped by having a common technology framework behind the scenes.

The company launched a site for the Australia-New Zealand market earlier this year. Part of the wider restructuring saw 18 redundancies in March.

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