After 25 years of service and leadership, Exo Travel’s co-founder and CEO, Olivier Colomes, will move up to become chairman of the board and be replaced by current group managing director Hamish Keith as CEO come July 1, 2018.
As chairman, Colomes will continue to play an active role in the group’s strategy, providing leadership and guidance to the senior management team.
A long-time veteran with the company, Keith first joined Exo Travel – previously known as Exotissimo – to launch Exotissimo Thailand in 2002. In 2007, he became group managing director and partner in Exo Travel.
Keith, together with COO George Ehrlich-Adam, will now lead the Bangkok-based DMC as “two core pillars in the organisation”.
Said Keith: “George and I have been with the company for over 15 years each and we have a very stable and highly competent senior leadership team around us, so we are very confident that we can continue moving Exo forwards and continue the great work Olivier started.”
With two experienced hands at the helm, Keith said customer service and innovative travel experiences will remain very much at the company’s core, with a “further brand segmentation as we focus more attention on the niche sectors”.
The DMC has soft-launched a luxury division, Luxe by Exo, to tap growing opportunities in high-end travel in Asia.
Keith said: “Luxe by Exo is part of our strategy to segment the specialist parts business such as Adventure Travel and Luxury Travel into specific units with clear, designated leaders and specialist teams to provide very specific type of service. We have successfully achieved this with Exo Adventure (launched in 2015) so it makes good sense for us to continue with Luxe by Exo.”
Luxe by Exo is a invitation-only brand that will effectively function as a “boutique company within a company”, Keith added, made up of a team of consultants who have been selected based on their specialist knowledge and competence to cater to the unique needs of the sector.
Exo Travel, which began operations in 1993 as the first foreign-owned company to receive a tourism operating license in Vietnam, will mark its 25th anniversary this year.