Two of the company’s three co-founders to leave their positions in November;
Nelson Gentiletti to become Chief Operating Officer
Montreal, June 11, 2009
Transat A.T. Inc., one of the largest integrated tourism companies in the world and Canada's holiday travel leader, announces changes to its senior management — including the departure of two of its three co-founders after 30 years of service to the organization — as well as the appointment of Nelson Gentiletti as Chief Operating Officer.
Mr. Gentiletti will hold his current positions of President of Transat Tours Canada and Acting Chief Financial Officer until October 31, 2009. Effective November 1, he will hold the position of Chief Operating Officer, reporting directly to President and Chief Executive Officer Jean-Marc Eustache. As part of his new duties, Mr. Gentiletti will oversee all of the company’s operations and be directly responsible for Transat Tours Canada, Transat France, Transat Distribution Canada, Air Transat, Canadian Affair, Air Consultants Europe, Jonview Canada, tripcentral.ca, Rêvatours and Merika Tours.
Also on November 1, Lina De Cesare, currently President, Tour Operators, and Philippe Sureau, currently President, Distribution, both co-founders of the company, will leave their positions. Both will remain members of Transat’s Board of Directors and will assume new roles as advisors to the President and Chief Executive Officer.
“These changes represent a milestone for Transat’,” Mr. Eustache said. “This is a transition that has been in the works for some time. We are fortunate that we can count on a talented team, which has been building experience for many years. This is the case, for example, with Mr. Gentiletti, who has demonstrated his leadership within the organization for several years.”
Mr. Gentiletti joined Transat in 2002 as Chief Financial Officer before being appointed President of Transat Tours Canada in January 2006. He was formerly Chief Financial Officer with BCE Emergis Inc., Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer at Unican Security Systems Ltd, and Vice-President, Finance, for Vidéotron ltée. He is a chartered accountant and a graduate of McGill University, and also holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Concordia University.
In the mid-1970s, Ms. De Cesare’s love of travel led her to join the team at Tourbec, then a travel agency specializing in youth and student tourism. There, she worked alongside Messrs. Eustache and Sureau; the trio would go on to found Transat A.T. Inc. Since January 2005, Ms. De Cesare has directed all of Transat’s tour operations: product development, purchasing, inventory management, commercialization, sales and marketing. Her team, distributed throughout eight countries, works in six languages.
Born in France, Mr. Sureau arrived in Canada in 1977 and joined Tourbec. He helped found and develop several of the companies (Nortour, Trafic Voyages, Trafic Tour France) that banded together to form Transat in 1987. From 1997 to 2000, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Air Transat. Today, he heads the distribution side of the company, supervising operations both online and via traditional networks. A committed industry player, Sureau is a member of the Comité consultatif des agents de voyages, an advisory board for travel agents created by the Government of Quebec, among other roles.
Transat A.T. Inc. is an integrated international tour operator with more than 60 destination countries and that distributes products in over 50 countries. A holiday travel specialist, Transat operates mainly in Canada and Europe, as well as in the Caribbean, Mexico and the Mediterranean Basin. Montreal-based Transat is also active in air transportation, destination services, accommodation and distribution. (TSX : TRZ.B, TRZ.A)