Web Reservations International (WRI) has announced the appointment of John O’Donnell as chief technology officer (CTO).
In his new position, O’Donnell will be responsible for leading WRI’s technology strategy through the company’s next phase of growth. He will report directly to WRI’s CEO Feargal Mooney.
O’Donnell joins the company from Paddy Power where he was head of technology from 2000. During this time, he developed the organisation’s technology capabilities from a handful of employees to a 100-strong multi-discipline development and support function. This capability underpinned the growth of its e-commerce online business from a fledgling channel in 2000 to a €1bn turnover business delivering more than 70pc of corporate profits in 2009.
He also developed and delivered a mission-critical product and pricing global delivery system that was the basis for Paddy Power’s B2B business channel, which enabled its 2010 strategic alliance with the French conglomerate PMU.
Prior to joining Paddy Power, O’Donnell worked in New York as technology operations manager for Lehman Brothers and was responsible for the project implementation of a newly developed trading platform (OptiMark) onto the Nasdaq stock exchange in 1999.
At WRI, O’Donnell will be responsible for crafting the technology strategy and roadmap for enhancing the company’s overall competitive position. Key to this in 2010 is the relaunch of WRI’s flagship brand Hostelworld.com and associated international sites.
O’Donnell starts at a time when WRI is set to increase its workforce by 25pc this year. According to WRI, he will be integral to this growth, with the majority of the jobs within the IT and software development department.
“We’re delighted to have John joining the team at WRI,” said Feargal Mooney. “He brings with him a broad level of expertise, which will be paramount in driving our technology strategy over the coming years. His wealth of experience, proven record for success and passion for technology make him the perfect fit for WRI, enabling us to fully realise the opportunities for growth and innovation that lie before us.”