Helloworld chief marketing officer Kim Portrate has been made redundant following an operational review by the travel firm’s new management team.
Portrate: out of Helloworld following operational review
Portrate joined the company from Tourism Australia in October 2013 shortly before the Helloworld brand was launched.
Helloworld managing director and chief executive Andrew Burnes, who took over in late January following a merger between Helloworld and his AOT Group, said Portrate’s departure followed an operational and structural review.
“I have made the decision to have the marketing team report directly into the retail division and as a result the role of Chief Marketing Officer has been removed,” he said. “Unfortunately this impacts Kim Portrate and as such Kim finished up with Helloworld on Friday.”
New marketing lead: Primmer
The retail division now responsible for marketing is headed by Julie Primmer, Helloworld’s head of branded network.
Helloworld replaced four existing brands at what was then Jetset Travelworld Group, with the aim of unifying the network under a single identity which required one, rather than four marketing budgets.
But Portrate’s task of launching a new franchise travel agency brand in a market dominated by Flight Centre was always considered a tough one, and one made particularly challenging after the number of agencies choosing to take the Helloworld brand fell way short of expectations.
One source said the shortfall also meant a smaller marketing budget than anticipated which limited Portrate’s ability to raise awareness of the brand.
Among the campaigns spearheaded by Portrate was a ‘world first’ social media execution with an Instagram relay across 60 countries and 75 influencers for World Tourism Day.
The #helloworldrelay campaign began in Samoa with influencers posting from 75 locations until sunset, finishing in the Cook Islands 36 hours later.
Burnes has set about reducing costs and restructuring the senior team at Helloworld with three other highly-remunerated executives also leaving.
He paid tribute to Portrate, saying she was been a “major contributor to the brand transformation and a valued part of our executive team”.
“I would like to thank Kim for the hard work and commitment she has shown in working for Helloworld,” Burnes said.
Last week Mumbrella revealed retailer Big W had done away with the role of marketing director following the departure of Ali Williams, replacing her with a creative manager.
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