PONANT has named Belinda Hindmarsh as Group Deputy CEO, Global Business, effective immediately. Hindmarsh succeeds Hervé Bellaïche, Group Deputy CEO, Sales, Marketing and Communications who has been with the French luxury expedition cruise operator for 10 years.
Bellaïche’s decision to depart the company, and in agreement with PONANT’s CEO Hervé Gastinel, comes ahead of “new professional opportunities,” the cruise operator said in a statement.
Hindmarsh, originally from New Zealand, will head up a large team with extended responsibilities. She will be responsible for strategy and product conception, as well as global business development, marketing and communications. A travel expert with over 20 years of experience in the industry, Hindmarsh has held senior positions at Aer Lingus, Expedia and most recently at CWT where she managed the business development of the hotel division and operations in China. She was previously Executive Vice President and member of the group’s Executive Committee responsible for business growth and development.
“We are delighted to welcome Belinda Hindmarsh and are convinced she will bring a great deal to our company through her knowledge of the world of travel and her vast international experience,” CEO Gastinel said. “I also want to thank Hervé who will be in charge of the handover and integration of Belinda during the month of June”.
Chris Hall, PONANT CEO APAC & Special Advisor said: “Belinda’s appointment brings a wealth of international business acumen to the PONANT team. Her experience will support our growth plans of the APAC region. I look forward to working with her to deliver on our strategic objectives.”
Commenting on her appointment, Hindmarsh said: “It is an honour and privilege to join PONANT, market leaders in luxury expeditions and cruises across the globe with demonstrated commitment to investing in environmental and social protection.”
“I am delighted to join Hervé Gastinel and the incredible team at PONANT at this pivotal moment in the company’s growth trajectory and am confident the team’s relentless focus on customer experience and innovation will continue to deliver unforgettable memories for our guests alongside unprecedented business growth.”
Since his arrival in February 2013, Bellaïche has played a key role in PONANT’s expansion. Over the last ten years, the company’s turnover has increased seven-fold, positioning PONANT as a reference in the luxury and expedition sector.
Bellaïche contributed to successfully implementing a growth strategy enabling a brand redesign, a move upmarket and international growth particularly in the United States. He was behind the opening of new offices, several acquisitions and conclusions of major strategic partnerships. He and his teams were also invaluable in the way they managed the health crisis, maintaining the trust and relationships with customers, travel agencies and key partners.
Gastinel lauded Bellaïche: “I would like to thank Hervé for his professionalism, commitment and the sales results he achieved. His personal qualities, kindness, proactive approach and involvement were essential in driving the company’s growth.
Bellaïche said: “These years with PONANT have been very exciting at a time of exceptional growth. I had the privilege of building an international, reliable and motivated team who has contributed so much to our success. I would like to thank Hervé Gastinel for his confidence in me and the quality of
our collaboration since my arrival. I leave the company with a feeling of having accomplished my duty and wish Belinda and all the teams at PONANT every success in the future”.
Lead image: Hervé Bellaïche, Belinda Hindmarsh and Hervé Gastinel.