From Wal-Mart the buyer to Sabre the seller

duane_futch_walmart.jpgWe don’t usually mention promotions, appointments and the like, but here’s one we just have to talk about: one of the most powerful buyers of travel in the nation, Duane Futch, the former head of all travel procurement at Wal-Mart, retired a few months back. He was still a youngish fellow and so we wondered where he would end up, and he has. He’s at GetThere, the corporate booking tool that is part of Sabre Travel Network. He’ll be vice-president of travel procurement strategy.

His new job helps GetThere clients analyze their travel programs from a procurement perspective. When at Wal-Mart, Duane was known as a very tough customer and a hard-nosed negotiator. And while there, he was instrumental in creating a transaction program that manages airline ticket payment settlements globally. The picture nearby is from when Duane spoke at our 2006 Airline Distribution conference in Dublin.

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