Sabre Again Restructures Units - Business Travel News

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Sabre Again Restructures Units

June 26, 2000 - 12:00 AM ET


Sabre Again Restructures Units

By Jay Campbell

Six months after appointing a new CEO and announcing a spinoff from AMR Corp., Sabre Holdings Corp. earlier this month created three strategic business units as part of the company's second reorganization in 15 months.

Sabre also promoted Sam Gilliland to the post of chief marketing officer, reporting to chairman and CEO William Hannigan. Previously senior vice president and general manager of Sabre product marketing--and earlier vice president and general manager of Sabre Business Travel Solutions--Gilliland assumes the responsibility of charting the company's future in new market segments.

The new business units are Travel Marketing and Distribution, including travel agency solutions, Sabre BTS and Sabre VirtuallyThere; Outsource and Software Solutions, including IT outsourcing and decision support systems; and Emerging Businesses, including the recently announced Sabre B2B marketplace (BTN, March 6).

Eric Speck, Bradford Boston and Thomas Klein will lead each unit, respectively. Klein, who was senior vice president of national sales and services, reports to Gilliland. Speck had been Sabre's executive vice president of marketing and sales, while Boston was executive vice president for product development and delivery. Sabre also named Craig Murphy chief technology officer.

Sabre BTS "now is more of a fully stand-alone unit than it was before," said Speck, group president of Travel Marketing and Distribution.

There is no change in Scott Smith's role as general manager of BTS, except that he now reports directly to Speck. Previously, Nancy Raynor sat in between the two--but Raynor now is general manager of Sabre's VirtuallyThere product line. BTS programmers who were previously in a different group than Smith's now are part of his operation.

Speck told BTN that the earlier reorganization (BTN, April 12, 1999) brought together what was "admittedly a group of individual companies, or four relatively stand-alone businesses."

That reorganization, when Sabre was majority owned by AMR Corp., eliminated the Sabre Inc. name and business units, such as the Sabre Travel Information Network and Sabre Technology Solutions.

"We organized along functional lines in order to give us the opportunity to identify synergies," added Speck. "We have achieved that goal and now is the best time to go half-way back to where we were." Prior to the 1999 restructuring, he said, each business unit had its own systems for such functions as billing or dispatching technicians. Now, the new business units will benefit from "synergies across the company."

"These changes represent the next step in the evolution of Sabre," said Hannigan. "It is imperative that we have the ability to respond faster to our customers and our markets."

Sabre said Speck's Travel Marketing and Distribution Group "will fully leverage new Internet technologies and the power of the world's largest global distribution system for travel agencies, corporate travel departments and the end traveler."

The Emerging Businesses Unit "will focus on the identification, investment and incubation of high potential emerging businesses within and outside of the travel and transportation industries.
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