Virgin Experience Days has announced the appointment of Christoph Homann as CEO as the business enters its next phase of growth in the experience gifting markets in the UK and US.
Christoph was most recently CEO of Wishcard Technologies, a digital gift card business headquartered in Germany, where he more than doubled revenue and EBITDA, drove European expansion and managed a successful exit for its leading investor.
He has substantial experience in consumer digital platform businesses such as eBay and Ticketmaster and led the digital transformation at McDonald’s where among other innovations he was responsible for the global roll-out of its digital in-store kiosks and mobile applications.
Richard Hurd-Wood, who has been CEO of Virgin Experience Days for the past five-and-a-half years, has stepped down as part of a planned transition in order to pursue non-executive roles. During Richard’s tenure, Virgin Experience Days delivered significant growth, entered the $40bn (£31.5bn) US experience gifting market through strategic acquisition and secured investment from Equistone Partners Europe. Under Christoph’s leadership, the business will continue its strategic growth plans in both the UK and the US.
Nuria Garcia is also joining Virgin Experience Days as chief marketing officer. Nuria was previously CMO at WorldRemit, the fintech unicorn that offers digital money transfers globally, where she supported the international expansion to 50 countries, helped to double daily transacting users and increased monthly revenues by more than 80%.
Gordon Wilson, chairman of Virgin Experience Days, says, “I would like to pay tribute to the fine job Richard has done in leading Virgin Experience Days to this point. He has not only overseen a period of strong growth but also successfully led the business through the Covid pandemic, its entry into the US and then its sale to Equistone.
“In the appointments of Christoph and Nuria, we are adding two executives with extensive skills and experience in building online marketplaces, international expansion (including the US) and delivering digital transformation and profitable growth, which will fit well with the rest of our talented management team.”
Christoph Homann, incoming CEO, says, “I am hugely excited by the opportunity to lead Virgin Experience Days in pursuing further success, building on a solid trajectory and with a strong team in place.
“There is a huge appetite for Virgin Experience Days’ offering as consumers continue to turn to experiences over traditional gifts. I’m grateful to the current team for their support in the process of joining this ambitious business.”
Richard Hurd-Wood, departing CEO, says, “I am enormously proud of everything that the Virgin Experience Days team has accomplished in my five-and-a-half years at the company, from growing the business significantly, navigating the pandemic effectively, to entering the US market.
“I would like to wish Christoph, Gordon and the whole team the very best for the future and am confident that the business will continue to thrive.”