Originally published on the 1st of September 2019.
As a new father I have had some time to reflect on what life is about, and one of the things that I believe gives me meaning is to do something generative with my life. Certainly, having a child is the most rewarding and generative thing I will ever do with my life. Fatherhood is not the only area of my life where I want to do something generative, I feel the need to build things in my professional life as well.
I recently reflected on my time bootstrapping Red Hat’s Open Innovation Labs in EMEA, this has definitely been hugely rewarding and I believe that we, as a team, built something truly remarkable. For those of us involved it was definitely a generative experience, to build something from an idea to a product that produces real outcomes (the definition of outcome I like is - a change in people’s behaviour that effects business results).
Like you, I have been approached on LinkedIn about roles, though I rarely bite. However, when a recruiter from Expedia got in touch with me about a CTO role, I was intrigued. Being a new father has brought about a change in my priorities on work-life balance and desire to be around for my family more so the thought of being a little less on the road definitely helped open me up to the possibility of new opportunities. The role was Chief Technology Officer at Traveldoo (a subsidiary of Expedia Group). Being a CTO of a product organisation has always been my dream job. Traveldoo is a start-up that was acquired by Expedia Group some years ago to complement the group’s business - Traveldoo does both Travel management and Expense management an interesting and natural combination.
As I got to know the leadership team, the product and technology organisation at Traveldoo through the interview process I started to realise that this was a special company. Part French and part American, a start-up and yet part of the Expedia Group, the largest travel company in the world. I began to realise that I might be able to continue to fulfil my personal purpose serving the folks working in this organisation and to be part of what they were building.
Traveldoo is facing some interesting challenges, they are a SaaS business and need to continue to renovate their core application, which is monolithic and based on legacy technology, in order to speed up their ability to deliver value to their customers. The engineering team has also grown to around 70 engineers, based in Europe (Paris) and Asia, with this there is a real need to continue to modernise their existing processes and architecture for the scale they are at. Finally, the business is going through exciting changes as they internationalise beyond Europe - they are already live with a range of global customers for both travel and expense.
To my mind Traveldoo is a perfect place to pitch in and put into practice what I have learnt over the last 3 years helping Red Hat customers transform and to develop myself in the process. What I do know is that I don’t have all the answers, and what worked in one context will not work in another, so I’m looking forward to stretching myself and learning.
While leaving Red Hat (again) was definitely an emotional experience, I’m also really excited about the next chapter with Traveldoo.
I’m excited to work with the dynamic team at Traveldoo, what they have already in the last few years to transform the organisation from where they started is impressive and I’m humbled to be part of the team for this next chapter of the company.
It would be remiss of me not to mention that we are hiring!