Sydney, Australia – SiteMinder, the global hotel industry’s leading guest acquisition platform, has appointed its first CEO to drive the continued rapid growth of its business and 30,000-strong hotel customer base. Sankar Narayan is the current chief operating officer of cloud accounting software giant Xero, and his appointment as CEO will see him co-lead SiteMinder alongside founder Mike Ford, who will remain the managing director and assume the role of Executive Chairman of the Board with a focus on driving the company’s vision, strategy and product innovation.

From January, Sankar will join a distinguished leadership team that now includes David Barnes, the former chief commercial officer at Expedia company; Inga Latham, the former general manager of digital experience at multinational Commonwealth Bank; and Jonathan Kenny, the former CFO at global online education company 3P Learning.

“We are incredibly pleased with our global expansion and significant leadership position to date. We are also equally ambitious and excited about the opportunity that lies ahead of us, and the pivotal role we believe SiteMinder can play in the increasingly-connected travel ecosystem. Building extraordinary things takes extraordinary talent and we are committed to building a leadership team that reflects that ambition. Sankar’s track record and outstanding skillset positions him as the ideal person for me to bring on as a partner in leading SiteMinder into the future,” says Mr Ford.

Sankar Narayan has a 20-year track record in delivering operational excellence and business growth across the travel, technology, media and telecommunications sectors. In 2015 he joined Xero which grew its enterprise value from under A$2 billion to over A$6 billion during his tenure.

“Through innovation and strong execution, Mike Ford and the team at SiteMinder have built a global footprint that cements SiteMinder as the leading guest acquisition platform for hotels worldwide. In partnership with Mike, I look forward to driving growth and scale in the business to join the handful of globally-focused Australian technology giants. I am especially excited to be a part of an organization that is set to transform the global travel industry as we know it,” says Mr Narayan.

SiteMinder first disrupted the global hospitality market in 2006 by introducing a Subscription-as-a-Service model that made it affordable for every accommodation provider to market and sell their rooms online. In 2014, it become the first Australian-headquartered investment for Silicon Valley-based TCV – which has backed the likes of Facebook, Netflix, LinkedIn and Xero – and today has more than 600 employees located in its Sydney, London, Dallas, Bangkok, Galway and Cape Town offices. Over the year ending June 2018, SiteMinder’s technology generated 80.6 million reservations worth US$26.5 billion in revenue for hotels located in 160 countries.