Gate Gourmet realigns organization to sharpen customer focus
David Siegel, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said the new structure addresses several strategic objectives. "Overall, we are striving to be even more market oriented and customer focused with our sales and service functions integrated within the geographic divisions. We will be more responsive as business conditions change by region or within market sectors, and be more attuned to opportunities both within and outside of our traditional catering role," Siegel said.
Sales and customer service will now be fully integrated within the geographic divisions, under the direction of three division presidents, Paul Lilley in Europe, Pete Pappas in the Americas and Odd Engebretsen in Asia/Pacific, who will continue to report to Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Guy Dubois.
Support and infrastructure for the sales function will be provided by a new corporate department of Marketing and Business Development, headed by John Whisnant. In this role, Whisnant is responsible for identifying new or emerging market opportunities worldwide and developing related tools and processes for the newly formed divisional sales teams.
Because of these changes, Niels Smedegaard, Executive Vice President, Global Sales Solutions, will be leaving the company following a transition period. With Smedegaard's departure, e-gatematrix Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer Torben Carlsen has been elevated to the role of President of that unit and will report directly to Siegel.
Also, Jay Jenkins is appointed Vice President Business Development and interim President of Global Aviation Services, a newly formed subsidiary that will focus on providing transportation companies with a broad range of above- and below-the-wing airport services. Jenkins will report to Siegel in this new role.
"We are fortunate to have an extraordinarily energetic and talented management team, and I look forward to their continuing contributions as we reposition Gate Gourmet for future success," Siegel said. "I am also very appreciative of the significant contributions Niels Smedegaard has made to this organization during his career. His deep understanding of, and passion for, the business helped guide Gate Gourmet during his long tenure."
Siegel noted that since all the changes involve internal positions, the transition of duties and continuity of operations will be smooth and seamless.
Gate Gourmet, with dual headquarters in Reston, Va., and Zurich, Switzerland, employs 22,000 people in 29 countries and is a global provider of in-flight catering and logistics services for more than 200 airlines worldwide.