TRANSEARCH International Appoints Global Head of the Travel, Tourism, and Hospitality Practice

May 24, 2024 – TRANSEARCH International has named John Watson as partner and global head of the travel, tourism, and hospitality practice. “John has a unique blend of working for a family trust, privately held businesses and PLCs at senior levels,” TRANSEARCH said. “He understands the importance of staff, customers and suppliers working in harmony, nurturing and directing resources. Comfortable in strategy, sales & marketing, finance, distribution, customer service & delivery, key account management, partner & deal negotiations and relationships, John has been security cleared to work in sensitive government, airline and banking positions.”

Mr. Watson has a distinguished career spanning over four decades, marked by leadership roles across global organizations. “His extensive experience in developing robust operational strategies and his deep-rooted understanding of the travel, tourism, and hospitality industries will significantly enhance our firm’s growth and innovation,” TRANSEARCH said.

Mr. Watson began his career in retail travel with American Express in Edinburgh in 1980. He became the youngest main-board director of Hogg Robinson Travel/BTI as first sales director and then operations director with responsibilities including 130 offices, 1,200 staff and 4,600 corporate clients. Moving on to run European sales for United Airlines in eight countries, Mr. Watson was one of the first ex-pats to work in the U.S. for United. Based in Philadelphia, he was in charge of airport operations, sales and key account management.

In 1998, Mr. Watson took on the position of global head marketing for Standard Chartered Bank based in Singapore before, in 2001, becoming managing director of Marina Developments 18 marinas (leisure, commercial & residential) in the U.K. From 2003 until 2012, he was CEO of the largest inbound tour operator in Asia, based in Bangkok, running 13 countries with some 600 staff. Mr. Watson has carried out various consultancy projects based in Macau and Vietnam for casino and tour businesses.

Related: TRANSEARCH Adds Y Scouts to Network

TRANSEARCH is a global search firm with representation in all of the major economic capitals, with about 60 offices in over 40 countries. It was founded in 1982 and today completes more than 1,500 senior executive search assignments a year. Its global client base is in the financial services, technology, consumer and retail, life sciences, and industrial and resources sectors.

New Office in Turkey

Earlier this year, TRANSEARCH expanded in the Middle East and Africa region with the opening of a new office in Istanbul, Turkey. The firm named Murat Öztürk as managing partner to lead the office. “We are delighted to expand into Turkey,” said Celeste Whatley, CEO of TRANSEARCH International. “Having a presence in Turkey again is a significant milestone for us as Turkey is a regional power with a geopolitically significant strategic location. Murat’s leadership and expertise will undoubtedly contribute to our continued success in the region.”

TRANSEARCH Adds Involved Partners in Sweden

TRANSEARCH International has added Involved Partners in Helsingborg, Sweden a member firm. Peter Ohman joins TRANSEARCH as senior consultant and manager. Mr. Ohman focuses on serving the industrial, utility/power, and FMCG market sectors. With a wealth of experience in both management and consultancy roles, Mr. Ohman brings a track record of catalyzing organizational, business, and HR transformations within complex organizations. His started his executive search and leadership assessment career in 2012 and since that time has provided strategic advice and services to Swedish international companies and corporate groups. Additionally, Mr. Ohman has gained experience from leadership positions in human resources and consultancy roles at esteemed companies such as EON and Accenture.

With 15 years in executive search, Mr. Öztürk has specialized in senior leadership appointments across various sectors, including consumer goods, technology, business & professional services, life sciences, and industrial. His track record includes over 300 completed executive search mandates spanning Turkey, the Middle East, and CIS Countries. Before joining TRANSEARCH, Mr. Öztürk served as a partner at the International Executive Search Federation, a European executive search network, for seven years.

Related: TRANSEARCH International Opens Office in Hamburg

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Executive Editor; Lily Fauver, Senior Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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