PLYMOUTH, MN: Travel Leaders Group has tapped former PR Newswire CEO Ninan Chacko to succeed Barry Liben as its head.
Chacko stepped into the role last week, also joining the company’s board, Travel Leaders Group CCO Steve Loucks told PRWeek via email.
Liben, who has served as CEO for Travel Leaders Group since 2008, is returning to Tzell Travel Group – a Travel Leaders Group company – as its president and CEO. He began his career at Tzell in 1977. Liben will maintain his position on Travel Leaders Group’s board of directors.
Chacko joins Travel Leaders Group after a six-year stint at PR Newswire. Robert Gray, the former CFO and director of UBM, succeeded Chacko as CEO of PR Newswire last month.
Before joining PR Newswire in 2009, Chacko worked in the travel industry.
He spent four years at travel technology and content provider Worldspan as chief commercial officer. In that role, he was responsible for sales, marketing, operations, service, and support activities for customers and partners in over 60 countries. He worked with businesses including Tzell, Travel Leaders Corporate, and Travel Leaders Franchise Group while there.
Chacko was also a founding member of the buyout consortium management team that acquired Worldspan from Delta Air Lines, Northwest Airlines, and American Airlines.
Before that, Chacko spent more than 13 years with travel technology company Sabre Holdings, serving in a variety of leadership roles, such as SVP of marketing and strategy for Sabre Travel Network and SVP of global services.
Chacko began his career with System One before joining American Airlines.
Travel Leaders Group rakes in over $20 billion in annual sales volume across 6,500 locations in North America, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Greece, and Australia, according to a statement.