VacationRenter names Heath Hammett as CEO

US: Vacation rental search engine VacationRenter has announced Heath Hammett as its new CEO.

Under Hammett, an expert in travel metasearch, VacationRenter says that it will further expand its international footprint while continuing to provide travellers with a personalised search experience and the best rental options.

VacationRenter was built inside startup studio Wilbur Labs with the aim to simplify the complex and time-consuming process of finding the perfect vacation rental.

The platform aggregates rentals from leading travel sites and personalises recommendations for each user to eliminate hours of searching and scrolling. Less than three years after launching in 2018, VacationRenter drove over $1 billion in 2020 gross booking value.

During the pandemic, VacationRenter became what it claims to be the first vacation rental search engine to include RVs, bringing together the largest inventory of any platform globally with over 100,000 RVs. The company is seeking to grow rapidly in the United States and overseas as the team rolls out new languages and localised options for its global traveller community.

Wilbur Labs co-founder David Kolodny said: “VacationRenter adapted to pandemic travel and grew bookings to record levels despite all the obstacles. This is just the beginning for VacationRenter.

“The company has an incredible team, tremendous traction, and a growing, multi-billion opportunity to be the category-defining vacation rental search engine. Heath is the perfect leader for this team and shares our long-term vision for solving problems in the space,” he added.

Hammett has served as a marketing, metasearch, analytics, and customer retention executive in the travel, automotive, and hospitality industries. He joins VacationRenter from Copart, a global leader in online auto auctions, where he was vice president of product.

Prior to the new role, Hammett was VP of customer acquisition and analytics for Pizza Hut US, a division of YUM! He also spent eight years at Hotels.com, where he led a global team responsible for customer acquisition across paid and organic marketing.

Hammett said: “VacationRenter is becoming the ideal place to find a vacation rental, and our momentum continues to accelerate. We have a talented, passionate team that is dedicated to helping travellers find the best rental for their needs. I am excited to join this team and take VacationRenter to new heights globally.”