TORONTO — Rumours have swirled for weeks and now TravelBrands has confirmed that Zeina Gedeon is leaving the company after completing her mandate.
“My departure comes as TravelBrands is ready to move into its next phase,” said Gedeon. “My role was to actively participate in consolidating the different companies, develop the new branding and revitalize several areas of the business. Together with a stellar team, we achieved our goals.”
Gedeon’s departure comes less than three weeks after the resignation of Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Nino Montagnese, who soon announced he was returning to Air Canada Vacations.
Appointed CEO in September 2015, three months after TravelBrands announced it was restructuring under CCAA protection, Gedeon’s leadership and down-to-earth connection with retail travel agents proved a boon for the company as it sought to keep the industry’s confidence while dealing with a long list of creditors owed millions of dollars.
Agents stuck with TravelBrands throughout the CCAA proceedings and they praised the company for staying in touch with its industry partners throughout the ordeal. A cross-Canada thank-you tour this spring kept Gedeon, a familiar face from her earlier stint as President and CEO at Air Canada Vacations, front and centre with the company.
With Gedeon’s departure, Frank DeMarinis will be taking on the role of CEO for the tour operator / wholesale divisions effective July 1. “As a key player for our organization, Zeina’s relentless work and efforts this past year have been unwavering and she has taken TravelBrands to a new level,” he said. “She has been an integral part of our organization and we wish her much success in all her projects.”
DeMarinis said his priorities going forward for TravelBrands are three-fold. “Continue to work with travel agents very closely, to give them the ability to work smarter not harder. Technology will be a big factor in how TravelBrands distributes its current products to the travel agents. And developing new destinations and products for the agents to sell and earn more commission.”