Debra Fox to lead Crystal and A&K sales in leadership revamp

Debra Fox to lead Crystal and A&K sales in leadership revamp
Edited by Travel Weekly

    A&K Travel Group (AKTG) has announced the next stage in its plan to align its business under a new centralised leadership team, with A&K’s MD to take on additional responsibilities as EVP of Trade Sales Asia Pacific for A&K and Crystal.

    “I am absolutely delighted to be leading Crystal in the APAC market along with A&K. It is truly an exciting time at the A&K Travel Group as we continue to deliver on the One A&K vision,” Fox said.

    “My last 12 months at A&K have been exceptional, and my team and I look forward to continuing to work closely with our trade partners in delivering unparalleled travel experiences for their clients.”

    Fox will continue as MD of A&K Australasia alongside the new responsibilities. She has more than 30 years of experience across the travel industry at APT, American Express, and Thomas Cook. She will continue to be based in A&K’s Melbourne office.

    The broader changes build on the ‘One A&K’ strategy that will connect and synergise its markets and brands by establishing new global roles connecting both A&K and Crystal across the world.

    As part of One A&K, the Group has created the new role of chief sales officer and promoted Marett Taylor, who will assume the position with immediate effect. Marett joined Abercrombie & Kent in 2000 and served in sales and marketing roles in East Africa, Southern Africa, and Europe.

    Since 2013, she has led the US sales team as the VP of Sales, supporting travel agency partners and consortia in North America. She will continue to be based in A&K’s Downers Grove office in Illinois, working across A&K and Crystal.

    “Having been part of this extraordinary organisation for over two decades, I’ve experienced first-hand the transformative power of travel and its ability to connect people across cultures,” Marett said, commenting on the new role.

    “As chief sales officer, I’m eager to further strengthen our partnerships, innovate our sales approach, and contribute to an unforgettable journey for every A&K traveller. Together, we’ll continue to redefine travel and exceed expectations at every turn.”

    Marett will join an AKTG team that is spearheaded by CEO, Cristina Levis. Last year, the Group brought in Kim Berman as chief legal and people officer, who joined after many years in the cruise industry at both The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection and Silversea.

    Ex-Soho House and Stella McCartney (LVMH Group) CMO, Peter Chipchase joined AKTG as chief marketing officer last December, and is leading the brand repositioning and digital transformation of both A&K and Crystal. Fernando Delgado, chief product officer, will oversee the management and development of A&K’s camps, lodges, and river boats, in addition to leading the A&K product line.

    He will also be responsible for overseeing Crystal’s marine and hotel operations, from 1st September. Fernando will relocate to Monaco.

    They join an already well-established leadership team that consists of travel industry veterans Martin Froggatt – chief destination officer, Andrew Burrett – chief financial officer, Camille Drevillon – chief of staff, Fabio Agostini – chief information officer and Fernando Barroso de Oliveira – chairman’s and brands ambassador.

    Crystal team-AU

    In addition to the One A&K strategy, local teams will also have new leadership roles:

    • Amy Weyman has been appointed managing director for A&K USA, in addition to her role as executive vice president of Marketing for the USA, which she has held for the past 15 years. Prior to that, she spent 16 years in marketing at Hyatt Hotels & Resorts. She will continue to be based in A&K’s Downers Grove office.
    • Kim Berman becomes managing director, Aventura Office, in addition to her current role as chief legal and people officer of A&K Travel Group. She will run Crystal’s Aventura office.
    • Andrew Burrett will become managing director for A&K UK, in addition to his current role as chief financial officer of A&K Travel Group. An experienced, high impact business leader, he has held multiple CFO roles over the last 15 years for consumer-facing Fortune 500 organizations throughout the world. He will continue to be based in A&K’s London office.
    • Reporting into Fernando Delgado, Stephanie Schmudde has been promoted to SVP global product strategy for A&K, overseeing product teams worldwide. Ann Epting remains as SVP Private Jet & Special Interest Travel. At Crystal, Roberto Fazi joins as SVP Marine and Bernie Leypold returns as SVP Hotel Operations.

    Crystal’s president, Jack Anderson, recently announced his retirement after over three decades in the industry, including three years at the helm of Crystal Cruises. Following the brand’s acquisition by A&K Travel Group in 2022, Anderson returned to spearhead the cruise line’s relaunch.

    “A&K Travel Group is now geared up for its next chapter of growth, with one of the industry’s finest leadership teams. A&K and Crystal are both joined at the roots by the same vision and passion, whether on vast expanses of the sea or the wildest frontiers on land,” Cristina Levis, CEO of A&K Travel Group said.

    “The unity of these brands under the ‘One A&K’ vision is much more than a business strategy – it’s the natural fusion of our shared dedication to customer-first attention to detail and unparalleled experiences.

    “With these developments, A&K Travel Group looks forward to the positive impact on the organisation and the continued delivery of exceptional travel experiences for clients and partners worldwide.”

    Featured Image: Debra Fox 

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