Flight Centre Americas President Dean Smith To Retire, Charlene Leiss Is Successor

Dean Smith is retiring after 23 years with Flight Centre; Charlene Leiss will succeed Smith as President, Flight Centre Americas; John Beauvais, current President of the FCTG Canadian business will become President, Corporate Brands, Americas.

Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG) Americas has announced that President Dean Smith will retire at the end of the company’s financial year on 30JUN, 2020.

Current Head of FCTG Americas Corporate Brands, Charlene Leiss has been appointed to succeed him and will assume his responsibilities effective 1JAN, 2020.

The announcement was made in conjunction with the FCTG’s parent company revealing that it has expanded the global leadership team to increase its focus on corporate and leisure travel growth. Smith will spend 6 months in a strategic global leisure role through to 30JUN, helping to transition the business through various leisure-related transformation initiatives that are currently underway.

John Beauvais, current President of the FCTG Canadian business will become President, Corporate Brands, Americas. He will be responsible for the strategic direction and growth of the company’s corporate brands including FCM and Corporate Traveller in the USA, Canada, and Mexico, and the company’s partner network throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

After 23 years with the company, Smith says he felt the timing was right for him to pursue his personal passions. 

“It’s been an incredible journey at Flight Centre and I’m truly grateful to have been a part of such a dynamic company in an industry that I am truly passionate about,” said Smith. “ I leave knowing that the fastest growing region within FCTG will be in great hands for many years to come.”

Smith says he’s happy with the choice of Leiss as his successor.

“A trailblazer and a force, Charlene has been an asset to the company throughout her tenure and has played a key role in the company’s successes; I’m confident she is the right person to lead FCTG Americas into the future.”

Leiss brings more than 20 years of travel industry experience initially with Garber Travel before it was acquired by FCTG. As leader of the Corporate Brands in the USA, she has fueled FCTG’s strong growth in the region to year on year record-setting profit. Leiss has been recognized on numerous occasions for her outstanding performance, most recently being named one of GBTA’s WINiT Top 40 Women in Travel.

“Dean has been a true mentor and a positive influence for all of us to emulate; he leaves behind an inspiring legacy for us all to continue,” said Leiss. “I am honoured to be part of an organization that rewards hard work and humbled to be taking on the role of President of FCTG Americas.”

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