What's the lastminute.com story?
In 1998 My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion was breaking musical records. Cinema-goers round the world were feeling a bit glum after watching Saving Private Ryan. NASA had just found water on the moon (although nothing seems to have come of that).
And a man called Brent Hoberman was turning up at flash hotels trying to blag a top suite at a knock-down price.
He was surprisingly successful.
Brent decided that everyone should be able to get a five-star lifestyle for three-star prices. And once he joined forces with Martha Lane Fox, it became more than just an idea. That October lastminute.com was born, bursting with top-notch holidays minus the extravagant price tags.
Fast forward two years and lastminute.com had more than 500,000 regular users. So we decided to share the love even further, adding things like theatre tickets and restaurant deals to our repertoire.
In May 2005 the nice folks at Travelocity (part of Sabre Corporation) bought us. Brent stepped down as CEO in 2006. Matthew Crummack’s now the man in charge. Martha left lastminute.com in 2003 and, according to Woman’s Hour on BBC Radio 4 in February 2013, is now one of the 100 most powerful women in the UK. So don’t mess with her.
Today, we’re champions of last minute travel and leisure. Giving people five-star experiences at three-star price tags is what lastminute.com lives for. We’ve been doing it since 1998 and we reckon we’re the best at it. When we asked independent researchers to ask people which European brand they associated with ‘last minute’ travel and leisure, 94 per cent of them mentioned us. Hotels, spa days, city breaks, meals out, theatre ticket… we provide customers with great last minute deals which enable and inspire spontaneity.
Brits are a spontaneous bunch of people
56% of Brits say the best decisions they had ever made were spontaneous*
17 million Brits are spontaneous – that’s one third of the nation***
Almost a third of Brits (32%) say they totally rely on their gut feeling when making a decision*
At lastminute.com, bookings on mobile devices for hotels on the same night are on the rise
Six million Brits use mobiles to book getaway breaks on the day**
One in five (19%) super-spontaneous Brits book mobile on the same day for that very night**
At lastminute.com, more and more customers book hotels between 6pm and midnight for stays that very night, taking last minute living to a whole new level.
Spontaneity is good for you!
Spontaneous breaks recharge work batteries: going away could almost double how productive we are at work when we get back***
Brits book more than 50% of short breaks at the last minute – and 30% want to do more of these***
Brits think about just quickly getting away spontaneously almost five times per week****
44% of Brits have booked a holiday or break completely on a whim*
* OnePoll survey commissioned by lastminute.com, with 2,000 adults in July 2014
** OnePoll survey commissioned by lastminute.com, with 2,000 adults in April 2014
***OnePoll survey commissioned by lastminute.com, with 2,200 adults in September 2013
**** Yougov survey commissioned by lastminute.com, with 2,200 adults in April 2013
Leading the Way
president and head boy since August 2011
director of communications since 2011
international chief finance officer and man of mystery since October 2008
international vice president, product and tech, and chief wizard since January 2012
international chief marketing officer and brand baroness since June 2012
Introduced the UK to Pringles
Master of the lastminute.com universe, Matthew makes sure we're the place to come for last-minute fun and games. And that we stay at the top of a sector that refuses to stand still.
Before coming to us, Matthew was at Expedia, Procter & Gamble, and Nestle.
wordsmith extraordinaire and employee engagement champion
More details to follow soon.
Once spent five weeks marooned on a beach in Bali
James keeps our businesses outside the US on track, always with one eye on our all important strategy.
In other lives he qualified as a chartered accountant and worked with mega-brands like EMI Music, Arthur Andersen and News International.
Like Q but without the ejector seat
John’s lord of all things digital. He makes sure all our ones and zeroes add up to a brilliant online experience for our customers. And he’s always looking for ways to make that product even better.
Before lastminute.com, John spent over a decade with Trader Media Group where he turned Auto Trader from a traditional media business to a digital mega-brand.
She’s a marketeer (which is better than a musketeer)
Sarah’s all about brand awareness. It’s her job to come up with ways to make sure we’re always the first name people think of when they want to do something last minute.
Before she joined us, she worked her marketing magic at Ask.com and BT.
FP&A Director since 2011
human resources director and talent scout since June 2006
Vice President Legal and Purveyor of Justice
vice president, sales and customer care, and chief morale officer since April 2013
director of global partner services and hotel inspector since January 2008
Keeps the finances in check.
More details to follow soon.
Loves all things pink
Tracy’s in charge of building the best team in travel. She’s got a bird’s eye view of all the roles at lastminute.com, so it’s up to her to make sure everyone’s working in perfect harmony towards our goals as a business.
Tracy worked at Nortel Networks before coming to join us.
Sometime marathon runner and newbie triathlete, next on Catherine’s bucket list is to compete in an iron man event.
Catherine guides lastminute.com on all things legal, from drafting and negotiating contracts, handling litigation, protecting the company’s brand and generally helping the business to manage its risk.
Catherine trained with city law firm Addleshaw Goddard and later practiced at commercial law firm Lawrence Graham before joining lastminute.com in 2007. In addition to directing the business’ legal affairs, Catherine is involved in legal policy and industry issues via a number of trade associations. She currently chairs the European Technology and Travel Services Association (ETTSA), which represents the interests of numerous GDS and OTAs across Europe.
Wannabe DJ – don’t leave him near unattended decks
Darren looks after the people who look after our customers – he’s in charge of customer care, telesales and customer operations.
He got the travel bug a long time ago and has previously worked for Travelocity, Look4Travel, Best Flights and Dial A Flight.
Once spoke at a conference while sitting on a camel
Mark works with our fab partners round the globe to make sure we’ve got the right hotels in the right places at the right prices. His superpower is finding the best Top Secret Hotel deals for our customers.
Before joining lastminute.com, Mark worked with British Airways, Saga and STA Travel.
chief commercial officer
chief commercial officer since 2014
More details to follow soon.