New leadership team for Lonely Planet
Travel business Lonely Planet has announced the hire of John Boris as the new leader for its North American business, according to the San Francisco Business Times
Joining the Oakland, Calif.-based company from Zagat Survey, Boris was named executive vice president, Lonely Planet and Managing Director, Lonely Planet Americas.
He was previously senior vice president of marketing and interactive at Zagat Survey, responsible for the marketing, promotions and development of the restaurant review company’s retail, corporate, online and mobile business.
Before Zagat, Boris was at 1-800-Flowers, leading the company’s brand development and communications. He also worked at Fresh Direct, in charge of launching the brand in New York and driving revenue to more than $200 million.
In this new position, Boris reports to Lonely Planet Chief Executive Officer Matt Goldberg. He is in charge of developing and executing strategies that will drive growth and revenue across the country.
Lonely Planet serves as a leading guide for travelers visiting nearly every corner of the globe. The company publishes guidebooks, as well as downloadable digital content to help travelers, and also produces television programs for globetrotters. The company is a division of Great Britain’s BBC media network and is headquartered in Melbourne, Australia.
In addition to Boris’ hire, Lonely Planet
added Laura Sullivan to its U.S. leadership team as VP of marketing, and Lotte Vester as VP of finance.
Sullivan was previously at American Express, where she spent 10 years, most recently as VP of consumer brand strategy. Vester joins Lonely Planet from Nielsen, where he also spent 10 years in businesses in both Europe and America.
Boris spoke with WinmoEdge, giving further details on his immediate plans in his first few days as the head of Lonely Planet Americas.
Boris said that in his first few weeks and months, his plans is to work with the company’s U.S. team to assess immediate opportunities to grow the business across all channels, including trade, online, mobile, custom print and content licensing.
Day-to-day duties for Boris are to lead the U.S. operations for Lonely Planet, ensuring that the company continues to operate efficiently.
“(I’ll be) continuing to drive innovation and of course providing our users with the content, products and tools needed to compliment their travel experience and enable them to get to the heart of a place,” he said.
Boris said that he intends to transform Lonely Planet’s U.S. business, and the company seeks to gain market share in its core print business. Additionally, the company wants to establish itself as a strong contender in the digital market, in alignment with the company’s global strategy and operating plan.
“We continue to engage our customers by providing them with the best travel information and resources possible to place an emphasis on innovation and challenge ourselves to come up with new channels and platforms to disseminate our content and tools,” he said.
Boris said that Lonely Planet utilizes its in-house marketing team, and will continue to come up with innovative marketing initiatives to build the brand and drive business.
“Travel patterns for the U.S. are changing. As such, we have and will continue to do an excellent job at adapting our product mix to cater to this audience and provide them with the travel content and tools they need,” he said.
Boris declined to elaborate on much of Lonely Planet’s plans, as he is just a few days into his new role. Firms with global reach, or those with strong digital media capabilities should keep the company on a short-term prospect list. Partnerships could also be of interest to Sullivan and Boris, so brands with a similar audience for Lonely Planet should also make introductions.