Hotwire Group CEO Brendon Craigie exits firm
After 16 years at Hotwire, CEO Brendon Craigie is resigning to pursue other interests. The agency has not named a successor. In the interim, Hotwire’s global leadership team comprised of Alex MacLaverty, Barbara Bates, Andy West, Adrian Talbot, and Heather Kernahan will lead the business, reporting to Enero Group CEO Matthew Melhuish.
Airbnb is changing its name in China
Airbnb is doubling down on China. The home-sharing site is changing its brand to "Aibiying" in China, and will introduce its Trips platform, which helps visitors find interesting experiences, in Shanghai. In China, Airbnb has 80,000 listings out of more than 3 million worldwide. In comparison, leading Chinese home-sharing site, Tujia, has more than 400,000 listings.
Uber plans to repair image
In a conference call with reporters on Tuesday, Uber pledged to become a more humane company. A report breaking down the number of men, women, and minorities in key jobs at Uber will be released for the first time by the end of March. Next month, a report investigating former engineer Susan Fowler’s sexual harassment charges will be publicly released. Uber's only female board member, Arianna Huffington, said on the call that the board wouldn't have allowed CEO Travis Kalanick to remain on the job if he hadn’t apologized and agreed to hire a COO. Huffington added that she is holding the management team’s "feet to the fire."
Trump’s former campaign chairman Manafort hires crisis comms firm
Paul Manafort, former chairman of Donald Trump's presidential campaign, has hired Jason Maloni as his spokesman. A former SVP and chair of the litigation practice at Levick, Maloni formed his own firm, called JadeRoq, in late 2016. Leaked documents claim Manafort secretly worked for a Russian billionaire to advance the interests of Russian President Vladimir Putin a decade ago, various news outlets reported on Wednesday morning.
New this morning from PRWeek
Atkins CMO Scott Parker on how the brand contends with perceptions that it's just targeting people who want to lose weight.
In other news: Pudzer, Trump’s first pick for labor secretary, is stepping down as CEO of Carl’s Jr. parent CKE; #RockvilleRape was trending on Twitter Wednesday morning, after Sean Spicer used the incident as an example to show why Trump made illegal immigration "such a big deal"; How Wells Fargo is using an ad campaign to move past scandal