UPDATED: ‘Time to move on’ says Ecsery as she leaves Cheapflights

Francesca Ecsery has left Cheapflights Media after four years at the business saying the time was right for her to move on.

Ecsery, a high profile figure in the industry, joined the company in 2007 as UK general manager and became global business development director in 2009. She is a regular speaker at travel conferences as well as being a Travolution board member.

Ecsery told Travolution she will pursue some non-executive directorships as she mulls over her next move.

“We had been talking about this internally and decided with Chris leaving this was the right time to leave and now I can focus on what I want to do next,” she said.

“When you are in a small business growing fast and you not have the time to lift your head and think about the next step. I want to give myself some time before I jump into the next thing.”

Executive chairman Hugo Burge, who took over the role of chief executive from Chris Cuddy last week, said: “We have had a number of changes in the business with the departure of Chris.

“We weren’t able to offer Francesca the role she aspired to and felt this was a great time for her to move onto the next big thing. Francesca has made a fantastic contribution to the business and we will miss her.”

Burge said there had been a number of internal promotions in the last week. Sarah Hanan has been promoted to head of Europe and Australia, and Yogesh Sharma has been given the role of head of global newsletters.

New recruit Don Wong has been appointed to the role of director of user acquisition.

Burge added: “We are very excited about the internal promotions and feel this is going to be the biggest and best year yet for Cheapflights.”

Ecsery said Cheapflights had “grown massively” in the four years she was there and had successfully diversified its revenue stream.

Last year Cheapfligths launched new metasearch site zugu.com which it closed this year after investing in rival site Momondo.

Ecsery said the price comparison space was becoming more competitive as new players enter the market but that they were satisfying a growing demand from the consumer to compare prices.

“There is a massive hunger as far as users are concerned that they are able to compare prices from a credible source.

“Cheapflights is the mother ship and as long as that is growing everything is fine. You need to do lots of testing and they have always done that whether it’s in social media or newsletters.

“Most of what we did worked, some didn’t. Everything we did on Zugu worked, it’s just in the mean time there was another opportunity.

“The media model is evolving, no one can stand still but it’s also here to stay, you cannot go back now the genie is out of the bottle.”

Ecsery said firms in other sectors were looking at what travel has developed in price comparison and were looking at replicating that in their businesses.

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