Skyscanner appoints mobile sector veteran as new chair

Skyscanner appoints mobile sector veteran as new chair

A new chairman has been hired by online flight comparison firm Skyscanner as it accelerates expansion plans.

The Edinburgh-based comoany will this week announce that mobile technology veteran Margaret Rice-Jones has taken the role,

This comes after a search for a chairman with extensive experience of both international expansion and the types of technology Skyscanner uses, the Daily Telegraph reported.

Her appointment follows a major cash injection from leading Silicon Valley venture capital firm Sequoia Capital. Rice-Jones will replace Irish businessman Ray Nolan.

Skyscanner chief executive and co-founder Gareth Williams said: “We’re primarily a technology company and she’s an engineer by background, so it is a good fit. Her mobile experience was really important to us.”

Rice-Jones has more than 20 years’ experience in the mobile industry, including spells at Motorola and Psion.

Her last executive role was chief executive at Aircom, a provider of technology services to mobile networks.

The Sequoia investment, valued Edinburgh-based Skyscanner at nearly £500 million in October, will help to fund development of its mobile apps, as well as plans to provide car rental and hotel comparison services to match its flight offering.

The company is also building its international infrastructure . The company expects to roughly double its profits this year, from £12 million in 2012.

Skyscanner was founded in 2003 and has been profitable for four years, but Williams said it had not begun planning a flotation yet.

“We need to be much bigger. We haven’t started IPO planning yet,” he told the newspaper. “We were able to do the Sequoia deal because the existing shareholders were not looking for liquidity.”

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