CHEAPFLIGHTS RESTRUCTURES BOARD
GROUP MANAGING DIRECTOR PROMOTED TO CEO
DAVID SOSKIN BECOMES VICE-CHAIRMAN
EMBARGOED UNTIL 0001 MONDAY 10 MARCH 2008.
London, 10 March 2008: Cheapflights Ltd. ("Cheapflights" or "the Company"), a leading UK and North American internet media travel company, which pioneered online flight price search and comparison in 1996, announces the restructuring of its Board to position itself for its next phase of growth and international expansion.
Chris Cuddy, formerly Group Managing Director, will assume the responsibilities of CEO from David Soskin. David will become Vice-Chairman and remain on the Board and will continue to represent the interests of existing shareholders as the Company contemplates its liquidity options.
Chris Cuddy has been Cheapflights' Group Managing Director and Executive Board Director since October 2005. Working out of both London and Boston, he has been responsible for continuing to build top-rated management teams on both sides of the Atlantic. This in turn has helped drive Cheapflights' ongoing UK growth and the Company's huge success and profitability in the US. Importantly, Chris has also overseen the technology investment in, and resulting transformation of, the Group's publishing platform. This has radically improved the functionality of the US site. It will be introduced to the UK this year and will facilitate international expansion with a common technology platform.
David Soskin co-led the management buy-in early in 2000, funded by a small group of private investors. David has successfully applied his entrepreneurial skills as CEO to build Cheapflights into one of the UK's and the US's leading online travel media companies. Starting with only three staff in early 2000, he has built a consistently profitable and leading online media business on both sides of the Atlantic. The Company now includes a highly experienced senior management team with over 12 years' average experience in their relevant fields.
Commenting, David Soskin said: "As an entrepreneur with experience in successfully building early stage businesses, I recognise that Cheapflights has now grown into not only an international business, but also one of a size that requires a different style of management. When bringing Chris on board, it was clear that his technology background, his experience with major US dotcoms and leadership abilities would be of enormous benefit to the Company. Several years on, Chris has amply justified our decision. I am confidently turning over my role - and Cheapflights - into the safest of hands as the Company enters a new era."
Chris Cuddy added: "The Cheapflights Group now has in place experienced management teams both here and in North America whose technology, internet media and travel industry expertise are second to none. Furthermore, with the recent appointment of John Clare as Non-Executive Chairman, and with the continued contribution of David Soskin as Vice-Chairman, we have an exceptional Board."
He continued: "Over the past eight years, David has built an international company with outstanding technology and a robust financial platform from which to embark on its next phase of growth. I am very excited at the prospect of building on his work and creating an expanded and pre-eminent international internet media brand."
Non-Executive Chairman John Clare concluded: "David's achievement has been considerable. Not only has Cheapflights grown to become a leading online media company here and in North America, it has grown impressively in both its traffic and profitability. It has also kept at the forefront of product innovation for its users and its advertisers. Chris takes over a dynamic company having actively helped drive its recent growth on all metrics. With his considerable technology and major internet companies' background, I look forward to Cheapflights' continued success, lead by Chris as its CEO."
Cheapflights Ltd. for Information and CEO Photo
John Barrington-Carver MCIPR
Head of Corporate Communications.
Tel. (Direct): +44 (0)207 467 3535
Mob: +44 (0) 7831 655 630
Notes to Editors.
Chris Cuddy joined the Board in October 2005 as Group Managing Director. He has 20 years of experience in leading technology driven companies. Chris was previously CEO of the online advertising network, Engage, and has held leadership roles at CMGI, Computer Sciences Corporation and Goldman Sachs. Chris has actively been involved in launching high growth companies as a Screening Committee Member of Launchpad Venture Group, and through his work with MECA software, Bluestreak online marketing, and Yokel product directory. Chris received his MBA from Carnegie Mellon University and his BS in Computer Science/Electrical Engineering from George Washington University. A long time flight enthusiast, Chris has a student pilot's licence.
www.cheapflights.co.uk was launched in 1996. It pioneered the concept of online flight price search and comparison and has been consistently profitable since launch. It was the first UK dotcom to introduce pay-per-click in 2000, which helped to transform online advertising. Cheapflights publish flight deals from airlines, budget airlines, online travel agents and the long tail of other specialist flight deal providers. Cheapflights therefore provide consumers with rapid, easy to use comparisons of approximately one million flight deals each day from the broadest online selection of travel operators. The site is valued by travel industry advertisers as a neutral, high-traffic source of quality high-conversion consumer leads. It launched its US site www.cheapflights.com in May 2003, which has rapidly grown and which now provides half of Cheapflights' millions monthly visits by consumers. Its Canadian site www.cheapflights.ca, which was soft launched in April 2007, is already enjoying traffic of over 180,000 monthly visits. Cheapflights' status as an independent online travel price search and comparison and travel news site makes it a natural starting point for finding travel deals and up-to-date travel industry information on both sides of the Atlantic.
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