Sky's the limit for Mark at IoD annual dinner in Belfast

Mark Logan, widely credited with helping to turn airline ticket search engine Skyscanner from a fledgling start-up to a globally recognised brand, will address the IoD NI annual dinner in Belfast next February

MARK Logan, the man credited with helping to turn airline ticket search engine Skyscanner from a fledgling start-up to a globally recognised brand, has been confirmed as keynote speaker for the Institute of Directors Northern Ireland (IoD NI) annual dinner at Titanic Belfast on February 22 next.

Formerly chief operating officer at the Edinburgh-headquartered firm, he will address more than 500 delegates at the dinner, which is sponsored by Bank of Ireland and law firm Arthur Cox.

Kirsty McManus, national director of IoD NI, said: “Each year the annual dinner provides a welcome opportunity for business leaders to meet and network together in a relaxed social setting. But it also plays an important role in allowing them to exchange industry knowledge and expertise with one another.

“We're delighted therefore to secure Mark Logan as keynote speaker for the event in 2018. His story is one of helping to drive major growth across several companies, most notably Skyscanner which is now one of the best known online platforms globally."

She added: “Signposting and providing business leaders with the tools to successfully scale up their companies is among the key objectives of the IoD and helps to promote wider economic prosperity. We look forward to hearing what lessons can be garnered from Mark's experiences.”

In 2016, Mark was named Director of the Year by the Institute of Directors in Scotland, which commended in particular his “transformational leadership”.

During his time at Skyscanner, from which he has now moved on, staff numbers grew from 100 to more than 600 while revenues jumped almost 50 per cent last year to more than £90m.

The firm is one of few UK-based companies to have achieved ‘unicorn' status by reaching a valuation of more than $1 billion as a start-up.

Its approach to incentivising staff by enabling all employees to purchase shares in the business directly from their salary has also been lauded with the scheme receiving international recognition.

Mark had already made his name by overseeing the growth of software firm Atlantech which he joined when it had just five people before it later sold Cisco for £180 million with 180 employees.

Dale Guest, director of Bank of Ireland Corporate Banking NI, said: “We are proud to continue our support of the IoD and, like the Institute, we are committed to listening to the business leaders and entrepreneurs in Northern Ireland and working with them to achieve their business aspirations.”

Catriona Gibson, managing partner of Arthur Cox, added: “The IoD's annual dinner provides a welcome opportunity for leading members of the business community to network, and we look forward to Mark Logan providing his insights this year.

“The level of funding achieved by Skyscanner during its start-up phase is one of the greatest success stories for a UK online enterprise in recent years, and provides a fantastic example for other businesses to learn from."

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