Vertical Systems’ Russell to join Comtec

Vertical Systems’ Russell to join Comtec

Vertical Systems chief executive Mike Russell is leaving to lead rival travel technology firm Comtec Group at the end of May.


Russell replaces chief executive Kevin Gordon who has led the business through a period of improving service delivery and driving product innovation.


Vertical Group owner Peter Healey will assume responsibility for Vertical Systems, under a new structure which includes the appointment of Rob Barker as development director.


Russell has been credited with driving Vertical Systems forward through product innovation and securing high profile contracts with major travel businesses.


Comtec is one of the leading UK travel technology companies although it has been less prominent in recent years.


Frank Bulman, a partner at Comtec’s lead investor RJD Partners, said: “Mike is the ideal person to provide leadership to the excellent Comtec management team and engage the business with its customers.


“The travel technology sector has undergone significant change in recent years and we anticipate that some consolidation will take place. Comtec may well play a role in this led by Mike.”


Russell said: “Over the last three years Comtec has been re-inventing itself by improving all aspects of product delivery and by heavily investing a new generation of products for the travel industry.


“Real success has been achieved and customer satisfaction levels have increased dramatically and customers are keen once again to engage in the emerging product strategy.


“The challenge ahead is to engage with these customers and the travel sector in general and to ensure that the new generation of products are established successfully. “


Launched in 1995 Comtec is the leading provides technology to operators and agents such as Thomas Cook, Tui and Affinion.


Russell added: “Comtec has an outstanding selection of leading travel customers. The Travelink product is a trusted and reliable foundation at the heart of many of these businesses.


“From these foundations I plan to take Comtec to a stronger position in the industry through strong customer relationships, innovation and excellent service delivery.”


Healey said: “Mike has been instrumental in steering the success of our business over the last three years; he has the stamina and tenacity that we at Vertical have enjoyed, which now passes to Comtec.


“I wish to thank Mike for his dedication and wish him every success in his new role. Vertical will continue to develop and deliver innovative desktop products for the travel agent community – this is our strength which has gained us the recognition as market leader. Our strategy with development of new products remains unchanged.”

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