We are delighted to announce that Mark Rowland has joined SilverRail as Chief Customer Officer. Mark has deep product and commercial experience in the travel and technology sector, having worked in leadership positions at ASOS, Meta and Expedia.
In this blog, we interview Mark to get his thoughts on travel technology, what he has learnt so far in his career and the big opportunity he sees at SilverRail.
Welcome Mark – what is your background?
I’ve been into technology my whole life, from building PCs to run games faster, configuring servers to expand networks, learning SQL to improve insurance comparison, to getting into Product Management to combine and scale technology to better serve customers.
I started my career in start-ups before getting into Product Management with Expedia where I spent nearly 10 years working across car rental, insurance, flights and hotels. I left to join Facebook to learn about social media advertising and technology. Most recently I led the product and design teams at ASOS to help both the business and customer experience evolve to be more product and customer-centric.
What interests you about travel technology?
I’ve been interested in travel technology since I booked my first holiday. I always enjoy finding the path less travelled, places that aren’t on every tour itinerary and give me the opportunity to understand the people and culture of everywhere I visit. I fundamentally believe in the power of travel to expose us to different cultures so we can understand and respect each other’s similarities and differences. I also always want the best deal and I will search pretty hard to find it.
Travel technology has constantly evolved to make finding travel options easier but the choice of places to go and ways to get there will always be one step ahead. That’s what I love about it, the challenge of helping others find the experiences they want to broaden their horizons in a constantly changing world.
What is the biggest lesson you have learnt in your business career?
Never stop learning. A bit cheesy I know but for me, this has kept me fascinated with how to improve products, help people and grow businesses in different ways. It means being constantly curious, it’s reminded me to actively listen and not make assumptions, both of which I’m still working on! My passion for learning also created opportunities to start teaching and mentoring which I now love doing; this also really helps refine and embed what I’ve learned. I always love a good book recommendation if you’ve got one?
Why did you join SilverRail?
The opportunity to build new products with SilverRail is very exciting because SilverRail has created products with so much potential that help customers far better than the current solutions in the marketplace. The timing couldn’t be better because the disruption and fragmentation in rail and MaaS has reached a tipping point and consumers need simpler solutions to consolidate journey planning, booking and ticketing.
To find out more about how SilverRail is changing the way people move by making rail easy for carriers, agencies and travellers, click here.