Group-wide digitalisation in focus
Effective as of 16 May, 2022, Joao Gonzaga, will be appointed Chief Digital Officer (CDO) of DER Touristik Group. As CDO, Joao Gonzaga will be responsible for Group-wide digitalisation of the European travel company, now operating in 16 countries. He succeeds Dr Dirk Tietz, who left the company at his own request in late September 2020. In his role as CDO, Joao Gonzaga heads an international team of experts and is member of the Group’s International Management Board. Gonzaga will report to Sören Hartmann, CEO DER Touristik Group.
“We are delighted about having been able to recruit Joao Gonzaga, a highly experienced digitalisation expert. Following two years of pandemic, we see the travel market rising strongly. We want to harness this momentum to drive the Group’s digital transformation. With his international profile and longstanding experience in developing digital strategies, Joao Gonzaga will help DER Touristik Group to become more agile and customer-centric in the future and to drive digital innovation” says Sören Hartmann.
Gonzaga’s responsibilities as CDO include harmonising the Group-wide IT infrastructures to make optimum use of synergies within the Group. At the same time, the Group-wide booking systems will be closely linked with the processes of the service providers and new digital service offers for partners and travellers are to be developed. “Digitalization has become one of the most important innovation drivers for companies and I very much look forward to spearheading this effort at DER Touristik Group. As a strong team of international experts in technology and digitalisation, we will dovetail digitalisation across regions and will jointly launch new customer-friendly solutions,” says Joao Gonzaga.
As an internationally experienced technology manager and founder, Joao Gonzaga can look back on many years of professional experience in the telecommunications and travel industry. Gonzaga graduated in information and communications engineering and is experienced in developing and managing digital transformation projects. After three years as Chief Product and Technology Officer for the software specialist Peakwork, Gonzaga most recently worked for the customer engagement platform Braze in EMEA.
Gonzaga began his career as a System & Solution Specialist at Vodafone D2 in Germany. He later worked as Business Solutions Manager for Ericsson in Sweden before moving on to the tech startup scene in 2000. As co-founder of conVISUAL (renamed mVise) and later Kyntal, he worked in the US for a total of seven years. In 2014, Gonzaga returned to Germany as Chief Technology Officer for Swyx Solutions AG (renamed Enreach) where he led the company’s software development and established agile development processes. From 2016, he served as Chief Product and Innovation Officer (CPO) for Swyx Solutions before joining Peakwork as Chief Product and Technology Officer in 2017. During his time at Peakwork, Joao Gonzaga successfully developed among others the product strategy and led the agile transformation of the software company, which specializes in solutions for customers in the travel industry.
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DER Touristik Group has its head office in Cologne, Germany, and is REWE Group’s travel and tourism division. As one of Europe’s leading travel groups, DER Touristik Group encompasses more than 130 companies and employs 9,400 people in 16 European countries. Every year, millions of guests travel with one of the group’s tour operators or specialists. DER Touristik Group includes tour operators such as DERTOUR, Jahn Reisen, ITS, Meiers Weltreisen, Travelix, Kuoni, Helvetic Tours, ITS Coop Travel, Billa Reisen, Konig Aap, Apollo, Exim Tours and Fischer, as well as more than 2,300 travel agencies (such as DERTOUR, DERPART, Kuoni, Exim, and Fischer, as well as franchises and partners), the hotel brands Sentido, Aldiana, Calimera and Cooee, and the online travel agency Prijsvrij Vakanties. The DER Touristik Group also offers on-site support: The company runs an agency network with 74 offices in 29 travel destinations. The staff in the destination agencies assist the guests of the DER Touristik Group from their arrival at their holiday destination and until their departure. For more information, go to www.dertouristik.com.