A personal message from Adriaan Coppens, Co-founder and Board Member of OTA Insight. He shares his reasons for stepping down from his Chief Executive Officer role, and introduces Sean Fitzpatrick, new CEO of OTA Insight.
Two years ago a close family member was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I swore to myself that I would spend more time with them, but there was always another customer to attend to and another plane to catch. OTA Insight has been my life for the last five years and I have hugely enjoyed helping build it to become the business that it is today. However, now, more than ever, I want to be there for my family when they need me most and I realised that I need to step back from OTA Insight to make that happen. Not doing so would be a source of regret for the rest of my life.
This has been an incredibly difficult decision to reach, and I have given this much thought. I wondered whether there was a way to serve both commitments (family and work), or whether I could take an extended break? But I realised that I really had to be decisive and cut the cord. Since that decision we have been speaking to many world class CEO’s and I’m incredibly excited to announce Sean Fitzpatrick as the new CEO of OTA Insight, you can read more in our press release. Sean has an extraordinary track record in driving impressive growth at companies similar to ours and he’s ideally placed to take OTA Insight to the next level.
The evolution of the company over more than five years has been truly remarkable. When I started in 2012 with my co-founders Gino and Matthias, everything was just so incredibly hard. I still remember having crisis meetings because we were about to run out of money. It was very challenging to sign up any customers, while our product wasn’t fully built out and we were not familiar enough with the hotel revenue space. We depended largely on a terrific sales effort combined with selling customers on our vision and expected product development. I’m still immensely grateful to the first hotels that took the leap and partnered with us. It is thanks to them that OTA Insight was given a chance to get going.
Now, five years on, we are partnering with hundreds of hotels every month, our customer satisfaction score is exceptional and we have a phenomenal team in place which drives the business forward. I took a sabbatical of 3 months last year and OTA Insight experienced its best months ever in terms of new partners! I was super proud of the team and was happily stunned that the company did so well without me! I’m now really looking forward to watching OTA Insight develop new solutions in the hospitality analytics space that will assist our hotel partners in making smarter revenue and marketing allocation decisions, while continuing my commitment as a board member.
I must also register my gratitude to our investors who have been patient, have believed in me and the team and have stood by us when we really needed them. Angels got us started, and institutions have brought us through to the latter stages. All of them have encouraged us to be ambitious and to invest in growth. There has been strong personal interaction throughout and I hope that they feel rewarded for the faith they have shown in me. I am especially grateful for the support that they have shown when I decided that moving on was best.
You can also read Adriaan's blog post in Medium here.