Tripadvisor and TheFork Announce Leadership Management Transition as Bertrand Jelensperger Moves into Advisory Board Leadership Role and Almir Ambeskovic is Appointed as CEO for TheFork
Tripadvisor®, the world’s largest travel guidance platform, and TheFork, a leading global platform for booking restaurants, today announced a key management transition at La Fourchette SaS (known commercially as TheFork.com).
The Fork’s co-founder and CEO, Bertrand Jelensperger, has announced his intention to transition into an advisory board role, starting April 1, 2021. In this newly created leadership role, Bertrand will join Tripadvisor CEO and co-founder, Stephen Kaufer, and support oversight of TheFork’s strategy and business.
With this leadership change, Almir Ambeskovic has been appointed to the role of CEO of TheFork. In this role, Almir will be responsible for setting TheFork’s business strategy and leading global operations of the brand, inclusive of TheFork’s operations in twenty-two countries around the world.
“Bertrand has built TheFork into a truly special business, one that connects diners and travelers with culinary experiences that can be life changing engagements with different cultures from around the world. I cannot thank Bertrand enough for his partnership over these last several years, and look forward to working with both him and Almir as we chart a course forward for the continued expansion of TheFork,” said Stephen Kaufer, CEO and co-founder of Tripadvisor, Inc. “I know Almir will continue to innovate and expand services like TheFork Pay and gift cards, making it easier for diners to support their favorite restaurants.”
“I look forward to taking on this new challenge and for the continued opportunity to grow TheFork alongside Bertrand and Steve. We have a global leadership position and TheFork is a beloved brand primed for growth as market conditions improve,” said Almir Ambeskovic, newly appointed CEO of TheFork. “I’m honored by the trust and faith Bertrand and Steve have placed in me, and I look forward to this new challenge and for the continued opportunity to grow TheFork alongside them.”
“Our opportunities coming out of this pandemic are endless as we help the hospitality industry across the globe fill more of their restaurants with a global community of diners looking to once again dine out. We will be alongside restaurateurs to support them as they reopen and navigate this post-pandemic era,” added Ambeskovic.
Prior to being appointed as CEO, Almir was Vice President Sales and Marketing for TheFork, a role in which he was responsible for the growth of the business in all the countries within twenty-two markets where TheFork operates. Almir has directly led several countries as general manager at TheFork since 2015. He began his career with TheFork in 2014 as Italy Country Manager following the acquisition by Tripadvisor of RestOpolis, an online restaurants reservation startup he founded and led since 2011.
Born in Sarajevo in 1977, Almir began his career as a consultant and entrepreneur in the IT sector. First as start-up entrepreneur founding three companies, then as top manager of a digital scale-up as TheFork, Almir has always been active as a mentor for innovation in Italy. In 2012, Almir created and hosted the first Italian television program on start-ups and innovation. He was also vice president of the group of young entrepreneurs of Assolombarda, with responsibilities in marketing and startups, for six years until 2016.
History of TheFork
Bertrand Jelensperger co-founded TheFork in 2007. First operating out of France, Spain and Switzerland, the company was acquired in 2014 as the marque Internet restaurant reservations brand within the Tripadvisor Media Group. Through M&A and organic growth, TheFork has become the preferred restaurant discovery and booking platform in Europe, Latin America and Australia. Before the pandemic more than five million diners were using the platform every month to dine out. In 2016, Bertrand also created and led Tripadvisor Restaurants Solutions, a business that created marketing and reputation management solutions for the more than four million restaurants listed on the Tripadvisor platform.
“The 15 first years of TheFork have been an exceptional journey, for this business and for me personally. I would like to thank all the restaurants and diners who continue to trust us year-after-year, but just as important, I must thank my current and past colleagues for the culture of care they have been building and performance they’ve delivered to make TheFork a true Internet success story,” said Bertrand Jelensperger, outgoing CEO and cofounder of TheFork. “After 6 years of strong collaboration with Almir, I am super thrilled to have him and the current team continue the mission to simplify and democratize ‘dining-out.’ I know we can count on Almir and his team to go the extra mile every day in order to allow more people to enjoy these priceless experiences with the people they love at restaurants as we help millions of restaurateurs build their businesses.”
TheFork, a Tripadvisor company, is the leading online restaurant reservation platform. TheFork’s mission is to connect diners with a network of nearly 80,000 partner restaurants worldwide. With 22 million reviews and 28 million downloads of its app, TheFork has become the smart move to make to get a table. Through TheFork (website and app), as well as through Tripadvisor, users can easily select a restaurant according to their preferences, consult user reviews, check real-time availability and instantly book online 24/7. From the restaurant side, TheFork provides them with a software solution, TheFork Manager, to optimise reservation management, streamline operations and ultimately improve service and revenue. The platform operates in 22 countries as “TheFork” in France, Italy, The Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Portugal, UK, Denmark, Germany, Austria, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay, and as “ElTenedor” in Spain.
Tripadvisor, the world’s largest travel guidance platform, helps hundreds of millions of people each month* become better travelers, from planning to booking to taking a trip. Travelers across the globe use the Tripadvisor site and app to discover where to stay, what to do and where to eat based on guidance from those who have been there before. With more than 884 million reviews and opinions of 7.9 million businesses, travelers turn to Tripadvisor to find deals on accommodations, book experiences, reserve tables at delicious restaurants and discover great places nearby. As a travel guidance company available in 49 markets and 28 languages, Tripadvisor makes planning easy no matter the trip type.