Dick Knodt left the top post at
Vacation.com this week after eight years with the operation, most
of the last five as CEO.
most recently president of Orbitz for Business, will succeed Knodt,
effective April 17, while Knodt stays on as a consultant through
Knodt told TravelWeekly.com that he and Vacation.com owner
Amadeus had been planning his departure for some time, but he had
stayed on until Amadeus could identify the right person to take
over. He said Tracas comes with a strong marketing and technology
background, ... and technology is not my strong suit.
Knodt -- who comes from the retail travel business and twice served
as ASTAs top executive -- said his tenure at Vacation.com had been
the most interesting and fun thing Ive ever done, ... [but] the era
of day-to-day operations are over for me.
Knodt called the
timing of his departure absolutely good, and I will do all I can to
help Amadeus and Vacation.com. He also did not rule out some other,
later involvement with Vacation.com.
By way of
background, Knodt and Tony McKinnon (former Amadeus CEO and current
chairman of Online Vacation Center) founded Travel Associates
Network (TAN) in 1998. They began buying up consortia with an eye
on strength in numbers.
Around the same
time, a Boston-based entrepreneur, Andrew McKee, created
Vacation.com and began buying up consortia with a similar idea in
mind, but with the added ingredient of lots of technology for
In 1999, TAN
bought Vacation.com, Knodt said, for the technology, the name and a
It was not much
more than year later that Amadeus bought Vacation.com.
Knodt said that if Amadeus owners decide to sell Vacation.com --
and if that happens, he believes it wont happen too soon -- he
would be interested in working with an investor group to buy the
business, but not in running it.
is co-owner with cousin Howie Knodt of Special Interest Cruises in
Chula Vista, Calif., which originated as a Knodt family business.
He also is a shareholder in Online Vacation Center, based in
has not determined what his next career move will be except he
knows it will be in the travel business in one way or
the reporter who wrote this article, send e-mail to Nadine Godwin
at [email protected].