AOL UK hires new travel boss

AOL UK hires new travel boss

Online portal and internet service provider AOL UK has appointed Clare Messenger as its new head of travel and lifestyle.

Messenger joins from contract publisher Square One, where she was head of consumer advertising following several stints elsewhere in the press at Express Newspapers and magazine publishers IPC and Emap.

AOL director of e-commerce Martin Looney said: “Travel represents a significant growth area for AOL, with year-on-year growth in excess of 35%.

“Clare’s wealth of experience positions us strongly to capitalise on the growth that looks set to continue in the travel sector.”

The travel channel has become an increasingly important strand of the wider AOL UK portal in recent months.

Earlier in the summer the channel, which currently has a meta search deal with Yahoo!’s Kelkoo, was opened up to the wider internet after years of being only available to AOL customers.

The appointment of Messenger comes amid continued speculation as to likely suitors for the business after its parent company Time Warner ordered a strategic review of its European businesses.

AOL UK will not comment on the review. Recent reports have suggested Carphone Warehouse and BSkyB are frontrunners for the business, which was initially valued at around £1 billion.

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