Travel Industry Veteran John F. Davis III Named CEO at Hospitality P2P and Spend Management Innovator Birch Street Systems

  • BirchStreet Systems, Inc.
  • 11.12.08
Birch Street Systems, a leading provider of e-procurement and back office automation solutions, announced it has further strengthened its presence in the travel technology arena by appointing John F. Davis III as chief executive officer.

Headquartered in Newport Beach, Calif., Birch Street’s Web-based systems are used by more than 1,800 hotels in more than 25 countries.

Davis recently retired from Pegasus Solutions, Inc., which he launched in 1989. Under his leadership as chairman of the board, chief executive officer and president, Pegasus became one of the world’s largest hotel technology providers, with more than 2,000 employees, 2007 revenues of $175 million, and customers that included nearly every hotel company in the world.

With this new appointment, Birch Street Systems company founder and current CEO Douglas Sanborn becomes president and chief operating officer.

“Over the last 20 years, John Davis has played a major role in the worldwide hospitality industry by automating what can be considered the ‘front end’ of a hotel company’s operations: reservations processing and distribution. We believe he can help us achieve similar success in our space, which is considered the ‘back end’ of hotel operations: purchasing and procurement,” Birch Street COO Sanborn said.
Birch Street offers one of the only enterprise e-procurement systems designed specifically for the hospitality industry, offering comprehensive business process automation that covers procedures from procurement through payment, also known as procure-to-pay (P2P) technology.
“We’ve come a long way since forming Birch Street in 2002, and have had extraordinary success establishing the company as the leader in providing back-office technology to the hotel industry,” Sanborn continued. “However, as co-founder and a major stockholder I’ve decided that in order to take the company to the next level it’s time to hand over my reins as CEO to a world-renowned hospitality technology veteran and entrepreneur that can help us further penetrate the marketplace.”
Birch Street is privately held and has offices in Newport Beach, Calif., and New Delhi, India.

Davis said, “Birch Street is in a great position for growth. It has carved out a unique market niche with its Web-based procurement technology, and has had incredible success in helping the hotel industry recognize the potential of back-end optimization as a means to provide significant improvement to a hotel’s bottom line.

“Its client list, which includes Hilton, Hyatt, Omni, and Interstate Hotels, is a testament to that success. I’m excited about growing the company and leveraging its technology and platforms to create ever more products and lines of business,” Davis continued. “I feel so strongly about Birch Street’s potential that I’ve decided to invest in the company. As a major stockholder and CEO, I am deeply committed to building Birch Street’s presence in the hospitality industry worldwide. I believe that every hotel in the world could benefit from the cost savings that Birch Street’s technology can provide.”

Currently, more than 1,800 properties in more than 25 countries utilize Birch Street to access and manage more than 130,000 suppliers, processing nearly $1.5 billion in purchasing transactions annually. The system helps hotel chains/brands, management companies, individual properties, franchisees/owners, and restaurants leverage collective buying power, improve operations and lower costs by streamlining purchasing, inventory, food-cost management and accounts payable functions across a variety of geographic regions and property types.

Considered a long-time well-respected industry visionary, Davis has a history of entrepreneurial success creating industry firsts. In 1989, he launched one of the first hotel distribution switch technologies that enabled hotels around the world to be booked via the global distribution systems (GDS), such as Sabre and Galileo, and ultimately Internet sites around the world. In 1992, he launched one of the industry’s first hotel commission clearing houses for payments to travel agents. In 1996, he led the launch of one of the Web’s first hotel online booking services. Prior to these technology developments at Pegasus Solutions, in 1982, he co-founded one of the world’s first toll-free floral ordering companies, which later became known as 1-800 Flowers.

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