CIO Chris Hewertson will continue to transform technology in the travel sector as he moves from hotel group glh to Apcoa, a major car park provider. Just as hotel chains are being disrupted by disintermediation created by technology firm AirBnB enabling individuals to lease their rooms and homes as an alternative to hotels, so too is car parking with services such as Just Park freeing up empty driveways to drivers and the well reported decline in the number of young people taking a driving test.
Apcoa provides car parks to major locations such as train stations, airports, ports and exhibition locations and town centres. In the UK the European business has 200,000 parking bays in 80 locations. As well as operating car parks, Apcoa has diversified its business model to include services for parking and taxi management, advertising, debt collecting and enforcement; security, valet and park and ride services.
Originally founded in Cleveland, Ohio, Hewertson will be based in Stuttgart, Germany, one of the enticing aspects of the CIO role he said. Apcoa operates in 15 countries and is 98% owned by Middle Eastern venture capital business Investcorp. Apcoa is said to be the market leading car park provider in Germany, Norway, Austria, Italy, Poland and Denmark.
Hewertson (below right) takes up the CIO job title having been CTO of hotel chain GLH for nearly four years. GLH owns key hotels around the world and landmark venues in London such as the Charing Cross and Tower Bridge hotels. As CTO Hewertson introduced a “ship alongside” strategy where a transformation team built a new platform for the business. As CTO Hewertson was also deeply involved with changing the culture towards customer technology in the organisation. He enabled the organisation to understand that today’s hotel consumer brings their own technology and relies on the hotel to deliver fantastic infrastructure services.
Prior to GLH Hewertson had been CIO for the business telecoms and cloud services provider COLT an organisation he joined in 2007 and became CIO for 2010.