ALEXANDRIA, USA, 16 July 2020: The Global Business Travel
Association (GBTA) has named travel industry leader Dave Hilfman as its interim
A whistleblower’s email posted in late June accused Global
Business Travel Association CEO, Scott Solombrino, of misconduct almost three
months after his high profile appointment at the end of March.
In response, GBTA confirmed the CEO had been placed on
“administrative leave” following preliminary results of a probe of allegations
of racism and staff harassment.
It has now appointed Hilfman, who retired from United
Airlines as senior vice president of worldwide Sales in 2018, will step into
the interim role effective immediately.
“Dave Hilfman is what our industry needs at this
moment,” said Bhart Sarin, President of the GBTA Board. “Dave’s
passion for business travel and for GBTA is matched only by his integrity and
Hilfman commented: “When you see what the travel industry is
up against right now – both in terms of a worldwide pandemic and a global
economic slowdown – this is a pivotal moment for all of us and for GBTA.”
In related news GBTA’s board of directors cancelled the 2020
convention, that was scheduled for November at the Colorado Convention Center
Travel associations worldwide are suffering at the hands of
Covid-19 as members tighten their belts and cut expenses. The US-based
Association of Corporate Travel Executives closed shop last week, citing the
double whammy of the Covid-19 pandemic that forced it to cancel the 2020
conference scheduled for New York and security issues in Hong Kong that forced
the organisation to abandon its Asia conference in 2019.
More associations are likely to follow as revenue from
events, and the drop in membership dues bites the bottom line.