The Australian Federation of Travel Agents has confirmed that Darren Rudd will become their New CEO and will start in the role next Monday 29 June.
Mr Rudd joins AFTA and the travel industry having left the role of head of corporate affairs and public relations at Information Technology (IT) company Tata Consultancy Services based in Sydney after four and a half years.
Tata Consultancy Services supports a range of Australian and New Zealand organisations including Qantas, Telstra, CBA, Westpac, Vodafone, KPMG and the NBN.
Prior to his role at Tata Mr Rudd was the lead corporate affairs manager for the National Broadband Network (NBN) for five and a half years and general manager, services business group, Asia/Pacific at IT company Alcatel-Lucent for 12 years.
Mr Rudd is also a board member of the Australian Council for the Arts and is on the advisory boards of Asia Society Australia and Australia India Youth Dialogue.
Previously, Mr Rudd had an international career including postings in Hong Kong and China where he was the principal in establishing an art bank scheme for Chinese art in Shanghai.
AFTA chair Tom Manwaring said Rudd was selected following a rigorous executive recruitment process.
“Darren is an outstanding choice, with a wealth of experience across business and stakeholder management,” Manwaring said.
“The skills and networks he brings to the role will be invaluable as we navigate the new and emerging industry landscape.”
“Darren’s track record in successfully mapping and implementing campaigns that deliver results, his commitment to harnessing the immense power of our AFTA members through targeted grassroots activation, and his ability to identify and convert opportunities into real advantage were instrumental in him being selected for the role.
“The AFTA team, family and board are excited to welcome him aboard.”
Commenting on his appointment, Mr Rudd said: “It is an honour to join AFTA at this critical time. I look forward to working with members, the board and industry stakeholders as we work our way through the current economic difficulties and the challenges that lie ahead.
“The future is very different to that which we imagined six months ago, yet travel and tourism remain cornerstones of the Australian economy.”
Mr Rudd replaces former CEO Jayson Westbury who resigned in the wake of public derogatory comments made against Channel Nine ‘A Current Affair’s’ host Tracy Grimshaw.
Mr Rudd will commence his role at AFTA on Monday 29 June.
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