Travel Leaders Group chief executive Ninan Chacko has quit the US owner of Barrhead Travel and Colletts Travel.

He resigned after four years leading the agency giant “to pursue other opportunities”.

J D O’Hara, who has been president for a year, takes over as chief executive, effective immediately.


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O’Hara was previously senior partner at Travel Leaders Group owner Certares Management.

He was part of the original management buyout of Carlson Leisure Group from Carlson Companies in January 2008 that subsequently led to the formation of Travel Leaders Group.

O’Hara has had direct oversight of Travel Leaders Group’s extensive investment activity, including the mergers and acquisitions of Tzell Travel Group, Nexion Travel Group, Vacation.com, Protravel International, Andrew Harper Travel and Altour.

He led Travel Leaders Group’s international growth by taking over Corporate Travel Services in Mexico, and UK-based agencies Colletts Travel and Barrhead Travel.

O’Hara, who has worked closely with Chacko for the past year, said: “Our focus will be on continuing to excel at what has made Travel Leaders Group great, providing impeccable service to our travellers, the highest quality support and tools to our travel advisors and unsurpassed value to our preferred supplier partners.”

Since re-joining the company a year ago as president, he has been responsible for managing the company’s operating divisions, as well as mergers and acquisition activity and strategic planning.

O’Hara’s focus has been on partnering with the business division leaders to address specific needs of the individual brands, while continuing to enhance the travel advisor and agency value proposition, according to the company.

His new role will also include oversight of functions including the finance, information technology, supplier relations, human resources, marketing and legal departments, as well as the executive leadership team.

Group chairman Michael Batt said: “On behalf of the board of directors, I want to thank Ninan for his four years of dedicated service at the helm of Travel Leaders Group.

“He led our company through a period of phenomenal growth and change and raised the profile of our company across the industry.”

O’Hara added: “I am extremely grateful and excited about the tremendous opportunity to lead such a talented team of professionals and world-class travel advisors.

“This company has grown to become an industry powerhouse over the last decade and I look forward to our continued evolution as an industry leader.”

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