American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) has appointed Avios chief Drew Crawley as chief commercial officer.

Drew, who is currently chairman and chief executive officer of Avios Group, was previously chief executive of IAG Cargo and chief commercial officer of British Airways BA.

He will start his new role on April 1.

GBT’s president Philippe Chereque will leave on March 31 to join Certares, a travel industry investment firm led by GBT’s executive board chairman, Greg O’Hara. Certares leads an investor group that holds a 50% stake in American Express Global Business Travel.

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Paul Abbott, GBT’s chief executive, said: “Drew is ideally placed to lead our commercial organisation on the next phase of its journey. He is a dynamic leader with a deep knowledge of the global travel sector. Drew has broad commercial, marketing and digital experience, and a proven track record of driving innovation and change.”

Abbott added: “GBT owes Philippe a debt of gratitude. When he joined GBT in 2014 he brought an unparalleled knowledge of business travel and technology.

“His charisma and infectious passion inspired people at all levels of the business. I am delighted that Philippe will retain a close connection with GBT in his new role with Certares.”

Chereque was responsible for designing GBT’s product and technology platform, and spearheading the acquisition of travel and expense technology firm KDS in 2016.