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Sabre’s CEO has been asked to join President Obama’s Management Advisory Board, in a role reminiscent of that held by British entrepreneur Sir Philip Green.
Sam Gilliland is the only member of the travel industry to be asked to sit on the private sector executive board, the purpose of which is to cut waste in government spending.
When Sir Philip Green carried out a similar task for UK prime minister David Cameron last year, he produced a report saying that the government was wasting a “significant” amount of taxpayers’ money.
When he revealed his Efficiency Review, Green said much of the waste was down to “very poor data and process”.
Green said the British government was failing to leverage its buying power - using the example of the travel industry, he said multiple contracts and policies for travel management and hotel booking had led to significant price differentials.
“I think from this report it is clear that the prize for the taxpayer is too big and significant not to chase,” said Green.
Sabre’s Gilliland looks likely to be called on to provide similar feedback to the Obama administration.
He will offer advice to the US government on the delivery of new technology, as well as improvement of business processes and customer service.
Gilliland said it was “an honour” to be appointed to Obama’s Management Advisory Board, which he hopes will be able to “improve efficiency within the government sector”.
“This is a terrific opportunity for the private sector community to share best practices with the government, assist in the evolution of state infrastructure, and play a role in steering the country back to prosperity,” he said.