Sydney, Australia – SiteMinder, the global leader of hotel guest acquisition software and one of the biggest success stories to come out of Australia’s technology sector, has appointed Sankar Narayan to take the helm as CEO. Sankar is currently the chief operating officer of ASX-listed cloud accounting software giant Xero.
The appointment, effective January 2019, will see Sankar co-lead SiteMinder alongside its founder, Mike Ford, who will remain the managing director and assume the role of Executive Chairman of the Board with a focus on driving the company’s vision, strategy and innovation. Sankar will also join the SiteMinder Board.
“We are incredibly pleased with our global expansion and significant leadership position to date. We are also equally ambitious and excited about the opportunity that lies ahead of us, and the pivotal role we believe SiteMinder can play in the multi-trillion-dollar travel landscape. Building extraordinary things takes extraordinary talent and we are committed to building a leadership team that reflects that ambition. Sankar’s track record and outstanding skillset positions him as the ideal person for me to bring on as a partner in leading SiteMinder into the future,” says Mr Ford.
Sankar Narayan has a 20-year track record in delivering operational excellence and business growth across the travel, technology, media and telecommunications sectors. Following several senior management roles at Virgin Australia, Fairfax Media and Foxtel, in 2015 he joined Xero which grew its enterprise value from under A$2 billion to over A$6 billion during his tenure.
“Through innovation and strong execution, Mike Ford and the team at SiteMinder have built a global footprint that cements SiteMinder as the leading guest acquisition platform for hotels worldwide. In partnership with Mike, I look forward to driving growth and scale in the business to join the handful of globally-focused Australian technology giants. I am especially excited to be a part of an organisation that is set to transform the global travel industry as we know it,” says Mr Narayan.
Sankar will join a distinguished leadership team that includes Jonathan Kenny, the former CFO at 3P Learning Limited; Inga Latham, the former general manager of digital experience at Commonwealth Bank; and David Barnes, the former chief commercial officer at Wotif.com, whose appointments over the past year have supported the continued rapid growth of the SiteMinder business and a customer base spanning 160 countries.
In an age of rising choice and accessibility for curious travellers, SiteMinder is the name synonymous with the belief that technology can empower any hotel to win in a consumer-led world and unleash their potential. SiteMinder is the global hotel industry’s leading guest acquisition platform, ranked among technology pioneers for its smart and simple solutions that put hotels everywhere their guests are, at every stage of their journey. It is this central role that has made SiteMinder a six-time Deloitte Technology Fast Australia 50 winner, which first disrupted the global hospitality market in 2006 by introducing a Subscription-as-a-Service model that made it affordable for every accommodation provider to market and sell their rooms online.
In 2014, SiteMinder become the first Australian-headquartered investment for Silicon Valley-based TCV – which has backed the likes of Facebook, Netflix, LinkedIn and Xero – and today has more than 600 employees located in its Sydney, London, Dallas, Bangkok, Galway and Cape Town offices. Over FY2018, SiteMinder’s technology generated 80.6 million reservations worth A$35.8 billion in revenue for its 30,000 hotel customers which include Choice Hotels International, Best Western Hotels & Resorts, and Hyatt.