A Day Late And A Dollar Short. Hyatt’s Chief Marketing Officer Is Out

This is a bit of inside baseball.  No Disney discounts or travel tips here.

I’ve been a big Hyatt fan for a number of years.  A big part of that reason was Jeff Zidell, the person in charge of the Hyatt Gold Passport program for the lion’s share of the time I’ve been a Hyatt loyalist.

Almost a year ago, Jeff departed Hyatt.  It struck me as odd, especially right after Hyatt released their new loyalty program.  That’s the time the head of the program should be digging in to educate new members.  There was probably a pretty serious philosophical gap for a change to happen at that key time.

When Mark Vondrasek was hired to head loyalty, we learned two interesting things.  First, he wouldn’t report to the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO).  That was a pretty big trail of bread crumbs that things still weren’t “right”.  We also learned that Hyatt would be hiring someone to run the day-to-day program, increasing the loyalty program effectively to a C-level position and adding more management firepower.

Now, we’ve learned that Hyatt’s CMO is departing.  That really can’t be a coincidence.

The Final Two Pennies

I’ve had the chance to talk with both Mark and Amy, the two folks in charge of shepherding World of Hyatt forward.  They’re both seasoned professionals.  I think they’re really great folks.  They both strike me as thoughtful and intelligent, just the sort of people I would expect Hyatt to hire if it needed someone to run their loyalty program.  As a big Hyatt fan, I’m a supporter of both Mark and Amy.

But, they didn’t need someone to run their loyalty program.  They already had someone, a very special someone.  And, they let him go.

The post A Day Late And A Dollar Short. Hyatt’s Chief Marketing Officer Is Out was published first on Pizza in Motion


  1. So what, exactly, is the point of this post then besides an opp to humblebrag about knowing “Mark and Amy” ? You say that there is a philosophical gap and no coincidence – yet skip over the first questions any reader would have:

    What does this mean ?
    How does this impact Hyatt customers ?
    Is the loyalty program expected to change ?
    What happens next ?

    C’mon man – you’re better than this …

    1. Z2, sorry if it wasn’t clear. I don’t think this has any impact on the loyalty program. Mark and Amy were hired in a way that made them independent of the CMO. So, her departure shouldn’t change anything already in motion. This post was really me just lamenting that Hyatt, IMO, may have thrown the baby out with/before the bath water.

    2. And, yes. I would expect some changes in 2018. But, tweaks, not heavy lifting. No inside knowledge, just my hunch, especially with the Hilton changes being tame/positive and Marriott still up in the air with SPG.

  2. It will be interesting to see the real results of the WOH this past year, does anyone think they will release them? Or spin them.

    Hyatt is beginning to spin out of control with their loyalty program. SAD

    1. Ghost, I don’t think the program is spinning out of control. They just made two positive, needed changes. And, as a top-tier elite, I still get treated really well. There’s an argument to be made that top-tier elites are getting better treatment as part of WOH. Mid-tier folks, not so much.

  3. C’mon Pizza man, how about a follow up tomorrow on this same story – providing other Hyatt loyalists info of value. Heck, I’d take a prediction or two.

  4. Hi Ed, sure it’s common but I’ve only been a Hyatt Globalist for two years – last night I received an email from Hyatt (ostensibly a person?) saying he was “My Hyatt Concierge.” Know anything about this? And, doesn’t seem that it will ever benefit me – can’t see how? Recall Marriott toyed with this? a few years ago but it fell by the wayside… Thanks for any info…

    1. Richard, I’ve had a version of a “My Hyatt Concierge” for a while. It used to be called a Private Line Agent. I think it’s a YMMV sort of thing. I’ve had friends who’s agent/concierge was poor and added no value. I’ve had a really good experience with mine over the years. She’s very helpful in communicating with properties for special requests. She’s done some behind-the-scenes things that have made my travel experience much better. It’ll be what you make of it, and I wouldn’t be shy about asking for a new concierge if you’re not getting what you need. I definitely see value in the service but understand it’s not for everyone.

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