< PrevNext > Anonymous Whistleblower, Global Business Travel Association Letter Author The Voice of Reform By Elizabeth West / December 10, 2020 / Contact Reporter Share The anonymous letter to the Global Business Travel Association board of directors was dated June 8. The contents—allegations against GBTA's then-CEO Scott Solombrino and to a lesser extent the board of directors of cronyism, financial mismanagement and staff intimidation and discrimination—moved the board to put one of GBTA's longest-serving volunteers and recently appointed senior executive on administrative leave starting June 19, after the allegations went public. An investigation headed by N.Y.-based law firm Polsinelli concluded in late July that "no misconduct or legal wrongdoing by Mr. Solombrino was found," according to a GBTA press release. Nevertheless, the GBTA board of directors and Solombrino mutually agreed that was time for Solombrino to seek other opportunities. Several industry insiders claim Solombrino received a payout on his departure, but BTN could not confirm.During the course of the investigation, supplier organizations and volunteers began distancing themselves from the organization, citing the surfaced allegations and the slow pace of the inquiry. Travel technology giant Concur was the first to go public with their decision, but they were followed by mega travel management company CWT. Other major companies told BTN in confidence that they had pulled their support. In addition, the organization's Risk Committee collectively threatened resignation and the Accommodations Committee withheld deliverables, pending a satisfactory outcome of the investigation. In the wake of the allegations—which suppliers like American Airlines called "courageous"—the investigation and Solombrino's voluntary departure, the GBTA board hired industry veteran Dave Hilfman as interim executive director and hired association consultancy MCI USA to conduct an organizational assessment. As a result of that assessment, GBTA has enlarged and increased diversity among the board of directors and redoubled its efforts to engage with voting members and to encourage new candidates to throw their hats into the ring for volunteer board seats. Hilfman's interim tenure comes due at the end of the year and he is leading, with the assistance of MCI, a hiring committee to recommend a permanent replacement that will ultimately be appointed by the board of directors. A source speaking on condition of anonymity said the position has received hundreds of applicants but has been narrowed to 12 as of press time.