Sabre names Menke as president, CEO

Sabre Corp. has named Sean Menke as president and CEO, the Southlake-based travel industry technology provider announced Dec. 15.

Sabre, which trades on the NASDAQ under the SABR symbol, said the board of directors appointed Menke as president, CEO and a member of Sabre’s board, effective Dec. 31.

Menke succeeds Tom Klein, who has served as president, CEO and board member since 2013. In addition, the board named Larry Kellner, currently the non-executive chairman of the board, as executive chairman, also effective Dec. 31.

Menke joined Sabre in October 2015 and currently serves as executive vice president of Sabre and president of Sabre Travel Network, Sabre’s largest line of business. Under Menke’s leadership, Sabre Travel Network has won major new business opportunities, increased global market share and been key to securing Sabre’s position as the leading global distribution system in three of its four major operating regions and successfully extended new multi-year agreements with many of its largest global travel management companies, online travel agencies and travel retailers.

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“After an extensive search of qualified candidates, the board unanimously concluded that Sean is the right choice to lead Sabre,” said Kellner. “Since his arrival last year, Sean has demonstrated that his strong industry knowledge and expertise coupled with his decisive, results-oriented management style are an effective combination. These traits will help Sabre drive innovation as the travel industry’s technology leader and serve the needs of airlines, hotels, travel agents and travelers alike. I look forward to working with Sean to make this happen,”

Prior to Sabre, Menke served as CEO of Frontier Airlines and held senior executive positions at Hawaiian Airlines and Air Canada, among other carriers. He also served as executive vice president at IHS Services, a global technology company. He holds an MBA from the University of Denver and a dual Bachelor of Science degree in economics and aviation from Ohio State University.

“Sabre touches almost every facet of the travel ecosystem to drive value and success for our customers,” said Menke. “I know first-hand the critical and growing role technology plays for our customers. It’s a core investment for airlines, hotels, agencies and travel management organizations alike, and Sabre has unique capabilities to help our partners grow revenue and operate more efficiently.”

Kellner joined Sabre as non-executive chairman of the board of directors in August 2013, and brings a strong background in the travel sector in which Sabre operates as a technology provider to leading airlines, hotels, travel agencies and travel management organizations. He has served as president of Emerald Creek Group since 2010. He previously was with Continental Airlines Inc. from 1995 to 2009 where he served as president and chief operating officer from 2003 to 2004, and chairman and CEO from 2004 through 2009. He was also a member of the Continental Airlines Inc. board of directors from 2001 to 2009. In addition to Sabre, Kellner also currently serves on other boards of directors, including The Boeing Company and Marriott International, Inc. He holds a bachelor of science in business administration from the University of South Carolina.

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As announced in June, Klein will resign from Sabre on Dec. 31.