Ryanair has hired John Hurley as chief technology officer as the Irish budget carrier continues with its senior management revamp and push to step up its digital game.
Hurley will join Ryanair Sept. 15 from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH), where he was most recently VP-software development.
“Working closely with the CEO and the Ryanair Labs team, John will be responsible for developing and implementing a world-leading digital and technology strategy, heading up a team of 200 people as he oversees the roll-out of the Ryanair Labs digital innovation hub based at Ryanair’s new Dublin Campus in Swords,” Ryanair said in a statement.
Ryanair unveiled plans to create a digital and IT innovation hub, called Ryanair Labs, in July. The new technology center is based at Ryanair’s new 100,000 sq. ft. offices in Dublin and will be manned by 200 newly hired technology, software development and digital marketing staff, led by Hurley.
Other new recruits to be brought on board by December include a head of digital marketing, Android or iOS mobile developer, head of mobile, a graduate innovation hacker, market intelligence analyst, site analytics manager, CRM/data science executive, QA and software test manager, software test engineer, UX specialist, UX lead, UI designer, social media manager, online advertising manager and lead content executive.
“Strategy, architecture, design and content will all be done here in Dublin,” said Ryanair head of communications Robin Kiely.
Ryanair Labs aims to create a “world class online travel platform,” supporting Ryanair’s plan to win back disgruntled customers and attract more business travelers.
This year, under its ‘Always Getting Better’ program, Ryanair has launched a new website, mobile app and mobile boarding passes, and formed partnerships with global distribution service Travelport, Google Flight Search and online payments specialist PayPal. It has also rolled out a number of customer service improvements, including allocated seating, a free second carry-on bag, reduced fees and a new product for families.