United Airlines (UAUA) has named travel industry veteran Tom O'Toole as their new Chief Marketing Officer. Tom was previously CMO and CIO (yes, he actually wore both hats!) for Global Hyatt Corporation(H) until his departure last at the end of 2009.
Tom's appointment marks the first move we can think of from Hyatt to United - most industry talent has flowed the other direction.
Appointing a non-airline (albeit a very well versed) expert to the marketing helm at United may be just what United needs to help drive a new course. The challenge, as always, will be in delivering at the operational level what has been promised - we bet Tom's unique blend of operational and marketing experience will be a great help in making that happen.
And here's hoping that Tom doesn't break any guitars.