Former IAG boss Willie Walsh joins Cartrawler as founder Bobby Healy departs

Former IAG boss Willie Walsh joins Cartrawler as founder Bobby Healy departs

Board changes come after €100m TowerBrook Capital Partners investment in May

Former chief executive of BA parent IAG Will Walsh has been appointed deputy chair of Irish car rental technology firm CarTrawler.

Walsh’s appointment was announced alongside two other non-executive director David Berger, co-founder of JetBlue, and investor Conor Kenhoe that will take effect from September 30.

CarTrawler, the Dublin’-based aggregator and supplier of ground transport solutions to the travel sector, said the trio “have decades of experience in the aviation and technology sectors and will bring substantial expertise to the board”.

The board changes see Cartrawler founder, former chief executive and non-executive director Bobby Healy leave, ending a sixteen year association with the company.

Chairman Patrick Kennedy said: “We are delighted to welcome Willie, David and Conor to the board.

They bring a wealth of extensive global experience in the aviation and technology industries that will add significant value as the world recovers.

“Willie has had an outstanding forty-year career in the travel industry, building IAG into one of the leading global carriers.

“David is an aviation pioneer, having co-founded leading airline jetBlue and growing it into the seventh largest airline in the US.

“Conor has had an impressive career at McKinsey, having founded its Private Equity/Investor Industry Practice and formerly leading its Tech and Telecom Practice in Europe.”

“I would also like to give our sincere thanks to Bobby Healy, as he steps down from the board, on his outstanding contribution and dedication over the past sixteen years.

“Bobby has been an exceptional part of the growth of CarTrawler and we wish him the very best in the future.”

Gordon Holmes, managing director and chief investment officer of majority shareholder TowerBrook, said:

“Willie, David and Conor joining the Board is a welcome endorsement of CarTrawler’s strength and its future prospects.

“Their experience and guidance will be a valuable resource as the business continues to pursue its long-term growth ambitions.”

CarTrawler chief executive Cormac Barry added: “Car rental is more relevant than ever in a Covid-19 world. We are seeing demand for car rental recovering quicker than other modes of transport as consumers see car as the safest way to travel.

“Despite the Covid-19 crisis, the business has had a number of material new partner wins in the last 12 months, most notably easyJet, SAP Concur and Hopper.”

In May CarTrawler announced a controlling equity investment in excess of €100 million from TowerBrook Capital Partners, an international investment management firm.

The firm said the investment is “helping drive CarTrawler’s next stage of growth, as the company begins to benefit from the easing of travel restrictions”.