RedBalloon names new CEO

RedBalloonRedBalloon has named  former Tourism Australia marketing head, Nick Baker, as CEO, replacing outgoing CEO, Kristie Buchanan effective March 16.

At Tourism Australia, Baker took over in the wake of the ‘So Where the Bloody Hell Are You?’ campaign, and went on to create and manage three of its most successful campaigns, as well as high profile events, including bringing Oprah Winfrey to Australia.

During his time at Tourism Australia, visitor numbers to Australia grew steadily. It is Baker’s ability to further grow business that RedBalloon is counting on.

As CEO, Baker will focus on further expanding RedBalloon’s customer and merchant base, as well as exploring new markets – particularly the growing tourism market.

He is also in the process of recruiting a new head of marketing, to help implement his vision for the company.

Baker says he is passionate about the experience industry and is ready to take on new challenges in an entrepreneurial environment.

RedBalloon offers more than 3000 experiences from more than 1000 providers across Australia and New Zealand.

“I considered a lot of interesting roles after Tourism Australia, but RedBalloon was the one that I could not turn down,” Baker says.

“The company ethos – recognition of its employees as the key to its success – and customer experience as its main purpose played a significant part in my decision. At RedBalloon there is a definite sense of people being part of something bigger than themselves, and I am really excited about leading and working with its fantastic team.

“The importance of experiences in people’s lives and the tremendous value they can bring in employee performance, as well RedBalloon’s recognition of its own employees as key to its success, appealed to me most.”

RedBalloon has also appointed a new chairman, former Tourism Australia MD, Ken Boundy, effective from February 1.

Boundy is chair of the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust, and is a professional independent director and businessman, with experience in small and big businesses and start ups.

RedBalloon is jointly owned by Naomi Simson and Peter Simson, who both sit on the board as non executive directors.

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