We are delighted to announce that Roxana Diaconescu has joined SilverRail as Chief Technology Officer. Roxana has deep engineering and commercial experience in the travel and technology sector, having worked in leadership positions at Uber, Expedia and most recently Facebook.
In this blog, we interview Roxana to get her thoughts on travel technology, what she has learnt so far in her career and the big opportunity she sees at SilverRail.
Welcome Roxana – what is your background?
I am a technology leader, with expertise in building and leading software engineering teams and products within a broad application domain, including travel, big data, personal transport and remote work products that improve communication and co-presence. I hold a PhD in Computer Science and completed a few postdoctoral fellowships in the areas of distributed computing, massively parallel computing, and run-time optimisation for scaling systems and applications.
What interests you about travel technology?
I am particularly mission-driven as I believe that technology is here to serve a higher purpose (than itself) and I, therefore, look at how the mission of a company or a domain resonates with me. To me, Expedia and Uber were both trying to democratise travel and personal transport (sharing economy) respectively, and that kind of mission really resonates with me. In the same way, I saw Cloudera as democratising access to Big Data and supporting Open Source so that smaller players have access to the same kind of tools and technologies that big companies do, thereby levelling the playing field.
What is the biggest lesson you have learnt in your business career?
As mentioned before, I believe that technology can have a significant positive socio-economic impact. When my personal values and work ethic are aligned with that, then my personal impact within the business tends to be the strongest. I’ve learnt that finding meaning in the work that I do is important not only for me but for the people and the teams that I lead. It acts as a powerful motivator and inspires people to be the best versions of themselves. That is really all that any business can hope for: that everyone does their absolute best.
Why did you join SilverRail?
In joining SilverRail, I hope to play a part in climate tech and the clean travel movement. SilverRail has deep expertise in building the foundations and standards that make train travel accessible online, as well as optimising door-to-door travel in an environmentally conscious manner. The rail industry has been lagging behind technology-wise and it is inspiring to me to see how far the company has come in tackling such a complex problem across the globe.
For a long time, the tech industry has been enamoured with solving problems of their own creation. I am humbled to put all my experience, expertise and willpower into playing a small part in solving a problem that deeply resonates with me, my children’s generation and which is possibly the most critical issue facing humanity.
To find out more about how SilverRail is changing the way people move by making rail easy for carriers, agencies and travellers, click here.