Jane Jie Sun took over as the CEO of China’s Ctrip and became the first female CEO of a publicly traded online travel agency.
Sun, who takes over the post from James Jipanzhang Liang, who moves over to an executive chairman’s slot, wasted no time in announcing her goals as part of her appointment announcement.
“I am very excited about Ctrip’s future and will work hard with the board, management team and rest of the Company to grow it into the most innovative and valuable OTA in the world!” Sun stated.
In terms of market cap, Ctrip ($21.7 billion) is already second-most valuable behind the Priceline Group ($74.6 billion) and ahead of Expedia Inc. ($19.5 billion) and TripAdvisor ($7.5 billion).
Ctrip has ambitions to broaden out beyond selling China domestic and outbound travel to become a travel seller around the world. It is working on plans to sell travel from the U.S. to China and Southeast Asia.
Sun joined Ctrip in 2005, and during her tenure served as CFO and as co-president of the company since March 2015.
Liang, as executive chairman, will “focus on Ctrip’s strategies and initiatives relating to innovations, international expansion, information technology, and investments and strategic alliances,” according to a statement.
The only other female CEO of a major online travel agency was Michelle Peluso, who headed Travelocity from 2003 to 2009, but Travelocity at the time was a subsidiary of Sabre and not a public company in its own right.