July 15, 2024

GBTA looks to secure its future

By Bev Fearis, published 22/07/20

The Global Business Travel Association has enlisted the help of a consulting group to help ensure it survives the challenges of Covid-19.

It has instructed MCI USA to provide a ‘360-degree organisational and operations audit’ designed to reset the association and ensure its success in the wake of the pandemic.

It comes after an investigation was launched into alleged misconduct by the GBTA’s CEO Scott Solombrino, who has now left to pursue other opportunities.

The third-party investigation concluded no misconduct or legal wrongdoing on his part but the association said both parties had nevertheless decided it was time for him to go.

GBTA’s Board of Directors had received an anonymous letter asserting troubling allegations about Solombrino and immediately launched an independent and thorough investigation with the former CEO’s cooperation.

GBTA Interim Executive Director, Dave Hilfman (pictured above), said: “We thank Scott for his 25 years of service to GBTA and his passion and commitment to advancing the travel industry. We wish Scott success in his future endeavours.”

Speaking about the decision to bring in MSI USA, Hilfman said: “This has been a turbulent few months for the business travel industry and for GBTA. It’s an unprecedented time that underscores our need to make sure we’re firing on all cylinders.

“MCI USA is best-in-class when it comes to analysing non-profit, member-driven associations like GBTA. We’ve retained them to look at every aspect of what we do, from the role of the Board to operations, staffing and human resources, IT, event management and marketing. Our goal is to emerge from the pandemic in the best possible position to serve our members as the leading voice of the global business travel industry.”

More than a dozen senior business executives will be a part of the MCI USA team examining GBTA’s operations, policies, revenues and growth possibilities, along with the return on investment the association provides its members.

“We may not be able to control the present moment and the downward pressure it has created for GBTA and so many of our members,” said Hillman.

“What we can control is our future. We need to take positive action to make sure we have the right business model, the right culture and that we’re doing what we need to do to best serve travel buyers and suppliers. MCI USA is going to help make sure we’re doing everything that needs to be done.”