Global Business Travel Association CEO Scott Solombrino,
under investigation for alleged workplace misconduct and on administrative
leave since June 19, has been cleared by the organization of the allegations.
“No misconduct or legal wrongdoing by Mr. Solombrino was
found regarding these allegations,” the board of directors said in a press
Still, the association and Solombrino mutually agreed that
it was time for him to seek other opportunities, according to the statement,
which did not detail a financial exit package or whether such a package exists.
Interim executive director Dave Hilfman, whom GBTA hired
during the course of the leadership crisis, thanked Solombrino for his service.
“We thank Scott for his 25 years of service to GBTA and his passion and
commitment to advancing the travel industry. We wish Scott success in his
The uproar was triggered by an anonymous email signed “current
& former GBTA Staff” alleging misconduct by Solombrino and which circulated
among industry insiders last month. Sent to BTN June 12, the letter claims,
among other misdeeds, that Solombrino created a hostile working environment for
women and racial minorities, and cited “racist, divisive and derogatory
comments” against those groups as well as past employees. It also alleged
negligence of executive vice president Lisa Censullo and among board members
for allowing Solombrino to go unchecked.
GBTA used Polsinelli -- a New York-based law firm that has
long represented the association -- to conduct the investigation. Some,
including current employees, felt the close ties would compromise objectivity.
As the investigation wore on, major sponsors and historic
partners publicly disavowed the organization and volunteer committees suspended
activity. Internally, eight members of GBTA’s senior leadership team, each with
titles VP and above, sent a June 20 letter to the board of directors
corroborating the anonymous allegations that kicked off the investigation and
citing “additional incidents” not detailed in the allegations but that would be
relevant to the investigation.
“It needs to be known that the leadership team corroborated
the allegations,” said a source close to the issue, who asked not to be
identified for fear of retaliation.
The individual added, however, that many in the organization
are simply looking to turn the page on this chapter.
To that end, GBTA last week began an engagement with third
party association management company MCI USA to assess the association’s
organizational structure and operations.
“We’ve retained them to look at every aspect of what we do,
from the role of the board to operations, staffing and human resources, IT,
event management and marketing,” said Hilfman in a press statement.
Source: Business Travel News