DULLES, VA – After 24 years of service at ATPCO, President and CEO Rolf Purzer has announced he is retiring. Purzer joined ATPCO in 1996 and has been in his current role since 2017, driving significant transformation at the 55-year-old industry organization. He will retire from the organization effective January 2021. Alex Zoghlin will officially join ATPCO on November 1 for an in-depth hand-over and will commence his CEO duties on January 1, 2021.
Since Purzer began his tenure as CEO, ATPCO has been on a journey of transformation from a legacy utility to a modern, agile industry organization that facilitates collaboration with the community across standards, governance, and innovation. Purzer oversaw the company’s acquisition of Routehappy, the first in ATPCO’s history. He also spearheaded the launch of the NDC Exchange platform, while pushing the organization forward with the creation of dynamic pricing capabilities for airlines and injecting a more agile mindset into the half-century-old company.
Purzer oversaw fresh personnel changes that brought agility and diversity to its leadership and management teams while accelerating the hiring of new talent and the appointment of Routehappy executives to the ATPCO leadership team. Today, more than half of ATPCO’s workforce have been at the company for five years or less and are working alongside long-tenured executives – who are known for their in-depth knowledge and understanding of the complex airline industry – to push the organization toward new innovation. Purzer also supported transformation at ATPCO with value-based initiatives such as ATPCO’s Lead from the Front program, focused on developing women leaders.
“ATPCO’s vision toward all content, all channels, and best-in-class tools remains unchanged. ATPCO has been the connective tissue between airlines and distribution, supporting an entire ecosystem; our mission to support the airline industry will not falter,” Purzer said. “It has been a privilege to work at ATPCO for the last quarter century and serve as ATPCO’s CEO for the last four years. I will be leaving ATPCO in the capable hands of dedicated staff and, with the Board’s full blessing, I know Alex will be a leader that can continue to move ATPCO into the next chapter.”
With a long history in airline distribution, ATPCO has in recent years expanded its portfolio beyond fare filing to support airlines in becoming modern retailers by enabling them to display their unique value proposition beyond just price. ATPCO now covers all aspects of flight shopping, across pricing, retailing, distribution, and settlement, ensuring each element works seamlessly across new and old technologies and methods.
Jerry Foran, Head of Product Delivery, Global Revenue, at British Airways and Chair of the ATPCO Board of Directors, expressed his gratitude to Purzer: “For decades, Rolf has been a leader supporting the air distribution ecosystem. He has fundamentally shaped ATPCO into a modern industry utility whose innovation is changing flight shopping for the better. With Alex joining ATPCO, the organization is in good hands and well positioned for the future, and it will continue to serve the industry as an integral and neutral organization.”
While the industry is currently facing one of its toughest challenges in the COVID-19 pandemic, Purzer’s retirement has been more than a year in the making. Purzer has been leading ATPCO’s urgent COVID-19 response, with the organization responding swiftly with multiple solutions that are supporting the industry.
Alex Zoghlin is a serial entrepreneur. He is the founder of several companies, including the online travel agency Orbitz as well as G2 Switchworks, a direct connect between major airlines and third-party distributors, which was acquired by Travelport. In addition, he held several senior management positions including Hyatt Hotel Corporation and Machine Learning Ventures.