Serko appoints new chair

Serko appoints new chair

Corporate travel tech player Serko has announced the appointment of Claudia Batten as its new chairperson.

Batten (pictured above) succeeds Simon Brotherway, who is standing down as Serko’s chair after more than five years, but will remain an independent director of the ASX-listed company.

She has been acting in the top board role since March 2020 when Brotherway temporarily stepped down for medical reasons.

“The board has been reviewing its composition and succession planning in light of the fact all the independent directors were appointed at the time of Serko’s initial public offering in 2014,” Brotherway said.

“At some point, it will be appropriate for each of the long-serving independent directors to transition off the board.

“To ensure this process is appropriately phased, I have determined to step down as chair, but remain on the board for at least a year to continue to support the company through its next phase of growth and to support the onboarding of an additional independent director.

Brotherway said Batten had demonstrated “strong and effective” governance and leadership during an “unprecedented and challenging time” for Serko and the travel industry as a whole.

“I’m confident Serko will be in good hands under her guidance,” he said.

Serko CEO Darrin Grafton said Batten’s global experience will be invaluable for the company as it progresses to the next stage of its international expansion.

“Claudia has diligently led the board through an incredibly challenging past six months, and I look forward to continuing to work with her in her new role as chair,” he said.

“I’d also like to thank Simon, personally and on behalf of my co-founder Bob Shaw, for his significant contribution to Serko.

“He has played a major role in the growth of the company since we listed and we are both very grateful for his guidance during this time as chairman of the board.”

Commenting on her appointment, Batten said: “It will be an honour to serve as the chair of Serko.

“Notwithstanding the COVID-19 pandemic, Serko continues to see material opportunities for international growth, and I’m excited to be able to oversee the governance of Serko during a pivotal period in the company’s history.

“I’d also like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the enormous contribution Simon has made to Serko over many years and look forward to continuing to work with him on the board.

“He represents the benchmark of good governance and has been instrumental in helping to grow Serko into an international company.”

Batten said the board has re-commenced its search for an additional independent director, following a deliberate pause in the search process to focus on the impacts of coronavirus.

“We will update the market when an appropriate director has been identified,” she said.

Featured image source: YouTube/NZTEvideo

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