VALUE
About us

Inspired by the power of being face to face

Serko has been at the forefront of corporate travel and expense management innovation since 2007. Find out what drives us, meet the team and learn our story.

Darrin Grafton

CEO and Co-founder

Something incredible happens when people come together. That’s why we travel. But all too often, we run into distractions. Schedule changes, expense reports, a bad night’s sleep. And a million other things.

We believe there's a better way. We're constantly innovating to remove friction from travel, designing our platform to transform the mundane into an experience. So when you are together, there’s more room for magic to happen."

Our strategy

Our strategy gives our stakeholders — employees, customers, end users, partners, suppliers, shareholders and others — a clear sense of what drives us, where we are heading and how we will create long-term value.

Our purpose

We bring people together

Our vision
+ mission

To create a connected, frictionless travel experience by building the world’s leading business travel marketplace.

Our guiding
principles

We show up as our true selves. We embrace the diversity of people, thought and culture. We work intentionally to create a positive impact.
We celebrate success as a collaborative journey. We work together as one team to transform individual ideas and strengths into innovative solutions for Serko and our customers.
We challenge ourselves to create simplicity where complexity exists.
We challenge the status quo to make the impossible, possible — for ourselves, our customers and our partners.

Others think we’ve got something special too

Serko’s leadership team

Board of directors

Claudia Batten
Claudia Batten
Chair & Independent Non-executive Director
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Claudia Batten
Chair & Independent Non-executive Director

Claudia has been a founding member of two highly successful entrepreneurial ventures. The first venture was Massive Incorporated, a network for advertising in video games. Massive was sold to Microsoft in 2006. In 2009 she co-founded Victors & Spoils (‘V&S’), the first advertising agency built on the principles of crowdsourcing. V&S was majority acquired by French holding company Havas Worldwide in 2011. Claudia is a strong supporter of the New Zealand start-up scene as an active mentor and adviser. She is also a director of Air New Zealand and Vista Group. Claudia holds an LLB (Hons) and BCA from Victoria University (Wellington).

Claudia Batten
Jan Dawson
Jan Dawson
Independent Non-executive Director
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Jan Dawson
Independent Non-executive Director

Jan is Chair of Ports of Auckland Limited. She is a member of the University of Auckland Council and was previously a member of the Capital Investment Committee of the National Health Board. Jan was previously Chair of Westpac New Zealand, Deputy Chair for Air New Zealand, and director of Beca, AIG NZ and Meridian Energy Limited. She was a partner of KPMG for 30 years and the Chair and Chief Executive of KPMG New Zealand from 2006 until 2011. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Auckland and is a fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants and a fellow of the Institute of Directors in New Zealand.

Jan Dawson
Sean Gourley
Sean Gourley
Independent non-executive director
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Sean Gourley
Independent non-executive director

Sean has established and grown two ground-breaking Silicon Valley technology companies: Primer, an AI and machine learning company where he was CEO from 2015 to 2023 and Quid, an AI-powered visualisation company where he was CTO. In his early career, he was a research scientist at NASA and a research fellow at the University of Oxford where he published ground-breaking research into the mathematics of war in leading science journal Nature. He also served on the board of Anadarko Petroleum, a US-based Fortune 500 energy company, from 2015 until its acquisition in 2019. Dr Gourley has a Master of Science majoring in physics from the University of Canterbury (NZ) and a PhD in physics from the University of Oxford, which he attended as a Rhodes Scholar.

Sean Gourley
Darrin Grafton
Darrin Grafton
Executive Director, Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder
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Darrin Grafton
Executive Director, Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder

Darrin has more than 30 years’ experience in travel technology and is a recognized industry innovator, previously named as one of the top 25 most influential executives in the travel industry by the BTN Group. Darrin has held directorships and senior management positions across a number of private and public companies, including the Gullivers Travel Group.

In 2021 Darrin was awarded the INFINZ Leadership Award and has previously been awarded the NZX Hi-Tech Entrepreneur Award. He is a member of the Institute of IT Professionals NZ and the Institute of Directors NZ.

Darrin Grafton
Clyde McConaghy
Clyde McConaghy
Independent Non-executive Director
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Clyde McConaghy
Independent Non-executive Director

Clyde is based in Australia. He is the founder of Optima Boards, providing independent director and advisory services to public, private, family office and charitable entities around the world. Clyde has worked in publishing, media, online and technology sectors, living in the UK, Germany, China and Australia. He is a director of Neuroscience Research Australia and holds a BBus (University of South Australia), as well as an MBA from Cranfield University (UK). Clyde is a fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Clyde McConaghy
Bob Shaw
Bob Shaw
Executive Director, Chief Strategy Officer & Co-Founder
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Bob Shaw
Executive Director, Chief Strategy Officer & Co-Founder

Bob has been involved in transforming the travel industry since 1987, collaborating with the world’s leading airlines, travel agencies and global distribution systems. He has held a number of directorships and senior management positions in various high-profile ventures, including Gullivers Travel Group and Interactive Technologies. Bob has been a past finalist for the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award. He is a member of the Institute of IT Professionals NZ, the Institute of Directors NZ/Australia and NZCDP.

Bob Shaw

Executive team

Darrin Grafton
Darrin Grafton
Executive Director, Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder
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Darrin Grafton
Executive Director, Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder

Darrin has more than 30 years’ experience in travel technology and is a recognized industry innovator, previously named as one of the top 25 most influential executives in the travel industry by the BTN Group. Darrin has held directorships and senior management positions across a number of private and public companies, including the Gullivers Travel Group.

In 2021 Darrin was awarded the INFINZ Leadership Award and has previously been awarded the NZX Hi-Tech Entrepreneur Award. He is a member of the Institute of IT Professionals NZ and the Institute of Directors NZ.

Joydip Das
Joydip Das
Chief Product Officer
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Joydip Das
Chief Product Officer

Joydip has more than 25 years of experience building software products and platforms for multiple technology start-ups and enterprise software companies in the US. He’s passionate about  creating product-led cultures and operational models to help forward-thinking technology companies navigate the challenges of innovation and scalable growth.

Liz Fraser
Liz Fraser
Chief Commercial Officer
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Liz Fraser
Chief Commercial Officer

Liz Fraser previously held the role of Commercial Director at MediaWorks. Prior to this role, Liz worked at Air New Zealand in various roles, including Regional General Manager of the Americas region based in Los Angeles, as well as General Manager Customer. Before joining the airline, Liz worked in the media industry, at TVNZ, MSN and MediaWorks TV. Liz is also the Chair of Crescendo Trust of Aotearoa.

Jason Hawthorne
Jason Hawthorne
General Counsel
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Jason Hawthorne
General Counsel

Jason is a corporate, commercial and technology lawyer with extensive experience working in travel technology companies globally, including Orbitz Worldwide, Expedia and Google. Before leading the Legal, Risk and Compliance team at Serko, he led the Content and Commercial function.

Charlie Nowaczek
Charlie Nowaczek
Chief Operating Officer
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Charlie Nowaczek
Chief Operating Officer

Charlie has over 25 years’ experience as an operations executive and management adviser, specialising in business transformation and operational excellence. Over the last decade he has been COO for a number of technology start-ups in the US and Canada.

Duanne O'Brien
Duanne O'Brien
Chief Technology Officer
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Duanne O'Brien
Chief Technology Officer

Duanne is a technology leader with over 25 years’ experience, specialising in building global enterprise SaaS (software as a service) platforms. Duanne leads the largest of our global teams, designing, building and running Serko’s platforms and products.

Joanne Phipps
Joanne Phipps
Head of Product
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Joanne Phipps
Head of Product

An integral member of the Serko product team for over 20 years, Jo focuses on enhancing the definition and growth of Serko's travel and expense products in the marketplace. She oversees the development of the product’s roadmap, working closely with development, testing, marketing and sales teams.

Shane Sampson
Shane Sampson
Chief Financial Officer
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Shane Sampson
Chief Financial Officer

Shane joined Serko with over 30 years’ experience in finance and commercial leadership roles at Vector, Spark and Pulse Energy, and most recently as the CFO of PushPay. Shane has a BCA and LLB (Hons) from Victoria University of Wellington and is a member of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.

Rachael Satherley
Rachael Satherley
Chief People Officer
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Rachael Satherley
Chief People Officer

Rachael has 20 years of experience in people leadership roles across Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific, most recently with Expedia Group. She has a passion for unlocking individual, team and organisational potential through transformation.

Bob Shaw
Bob Shaw
Executive Director, Chief Strategy Officer & Co-Founder
Close
Bob Shaw
Executive Director, Chief Strategy Officer & Co-Founder

Bob has been involved in transforming the travel industry since 1987, collaborating with the world’s leading airlines, travel agencies and global distribution systems. He has held a number of directorships and senior management positions in various high-profile ventures, including Gullivers Travel Group and Interactive Technologies. Bob has been a past finalist for the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award. He is a member of the Institute of IT Professionals NZ, the Institute of Directors NZ/Australia and NZCDP.

Jonathan Starkings
Jonathan Starkings
Head of SME Partnerships
Close
Jonathan Starkings
Head of SME Partnerships

Jonathan is an experienced travel technology executive who previously held senior roles at Groupon, Expedia Group (Orbitz) and Langham Hotels. He leads our global SME partnerships including Booking.com for Business. 

Murray Warner
Murray Warner
SVP Managed Markets
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Murray Warner
SVP Managed Markets

Murray has 20 years’ experience working with cloud software technology and building new sales and revenue operations. He has previously held several senior management positions with SAP Concur across Asia Pacific, Europe and North America.

Nick Whitehead
Nick Whitehead
Chief Marketing Officer
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Nick Whitehead
Chief Marketing Officer

Nick has a 20-year track record of commercialising technology through the development of effective go-to-market strategies and leads Serko’s global marketing and communications function. In 2023 Nick was named New Zealand’s Tech Marketer of the Year.

Darrin Grafton
Darrin Grafton
Executive Director, Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder

Darrin has more than 30 years’ experience in travel technology and is a recognized industry innovator, previously named as one of the top 25 most influential executives in the travel industry by the BTN Group. Darrin has held directorships and senior management positions across a number of private and public companies, including the Gullivers Travel Group.

In 2021 Darrin was awarded the INFINZ Leadership Award and has previously been awarded the NZX Hi-Tech Entrepreneur Award. He is a member of the Institute of IT Professionals NZ and the Institute of Directors NZ.

Joydip Das
Joydip Das
Chief Product Officer

Joydip has more than 25 years of experience building software products and platforms for multiple technology start-ups and enterprise software companies in the US. He’s passionate about  creating product-led cultures and operational models to help forward-thinking technology companies navigate the challenges of innovation and scalable growth.

Liz Fraser
Liz Fraser
Chief Commercial Officer

Liz Fraser previously held the role of Commercial Director at MediaWorks. Prior to this role, Liz worked at Air New Zealand in various roles, including Regional General Manager of the Americas region based in Los Angeles, as well as General Manager Customer. Before joining the airline, Liz worked in the media industry, at TVNZ, MSN and MediaWorks TV. Liz is also the Chair of Crescendo Trust of Aotearoa.

Jason Hawthorne
Jason Hawthorne
General Counsel

Jason is a corporate, commercial and technology lawyer with extensive experience working in travel technology companies globally, including Orbitz Worldwide, Expedia and Google. Before leading the Legal, Risk and Compliance team at Serko, he led the Content and Commercial function.

Charlie Nowaczek
Charlie Nowaczek
Chief Operating Officer

Charlie has over 25 years’ experience as an operations executive and management adviser, specialising in business transformation and operational excellence. Over the last decade he has been COO for a number of technology start-ups in the US and Canada.

Duanne O'Brien
Duanne O'Brien
Chief Technology Officer

Duanne is a technology leader with over 25 years’ experience, specialising in building global enterprise SaaS (software as a service) platforms. Duanne leads the largest of our global teams, designing, building and running Serko’s platforms and products.

Joanne Phipps
Joanne Phipps
Head of Product

An integral member of the Serko product team for over 20 years, Jo focuses on enhancing the definition and growth of Serko's travel and expense products in the marketplace. She oversees the development of the product’s roadmap, working closely with development, testing, marketing and sales teams.

Shane Sampson
Shane Sampson
Chief Financial Officer

Shane joined Serko with over 30 years’ experience in finance and commercial leadership roles at Vector, Spark and Pulse Energy, and most recently as the CFO of PushPay. Shane has a BCA and LLB (Hons) from Victoria University of Wellington and is a member of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.

Rachael Satherley
Rachael Satherley
Chief People Officer

Rachael has 20 years of experience in people leadership roles across Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific, most recently with Expedia Group. She has a passion for unlocking individual, team and organisational potential through transformation.

Bob Shaw
Bob Shaw
Executive Director, Chief Strategy Officer & Co-Founder

Bob has been involved in transforming the travel industry since 1987, collaborating with the world’s leading airlines, travel agencies and global distribution systems. He has held a number of directorships and senior management positions in various high-profile ventures, including Gullivers Travel Group and Interactive Technologies. Bob has been a past finalist for the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award. He is a member of the Institute of IT Professionals NZ, the Institute of Directors NZ/Australia and NZCDP.

Jonathan Starkings
Jonathan Starkings
Head of SME Partnerships

Jonathan is an experienced travel technology executive who previously held senior roles at Groupon, Expedia Group (Orbitz) and Langham Hotels. He leads our global SME partnerships including Booking.com for Business. 

Murray Warner
Murray Warner
SVP Managed Markets

Murray has 20 years’ experience working with cloud software technology and building new sales and revenue operations. He has previously held several senior management positions with SAP Concur across Asia Pacific, Europe and North America.

Nick Whitehead
Nick Whitehead
Chief Marketing Officer

Nick has a 20-year track record of commercialising technology through the development of effective go-to-market strategies and leads Serko’s global marketing and communications function. In 2023 Nick was named New Zealand’s Tech Marketer of the Year.

The Serko story

Founders Darrin Grafton and Bob Shaw started the Serko journey with Interactive Technologies Limited in 1994, and we've gone from strength to strength ever since.
Bob Shaw and Darrin Grafton establish ITL to help travel agents solve thorny mid-office and back office system challenges.
As the internet changed leisure travel booking, ITL changed direction too. Serko Online is launched to bring online booking to business travel.
Serko is founded and launched after the sale of ITL. The same year, CEO Darrin Grafton wins the PwC Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
Serko’s first in a series of patents, is for the use of early stage technology to solve business travel and expense challenges.
To capitalise on China’s talent pool of developers and software engineers, Serko opens its first development office in Xi’an.
Serko is floated on the New Zealand Stock Exchange to give retail and institutional investors the opportunity to participate in the company’s growth prospects. (Ticker: SKO)
Travel accounts for nearly 70% of expense spending, so the ability to offer a tightly integrated travel and expense management solution becomes a key differentiator.
Serko acquires the assets of Arnold Travel Technology, a competing online booking tool, from Expedia® to extend dominance over the Australian market.
Serko launches a portal to make it cost-effective and simple for small- and mid-size organisations to self register for a corporate booking tool.
Serko launches a mobile app for iPhone and Android, putting the power of a travel concierge into the hand of every corporate traveller.
The most significant product development in Serko’s history leads to Zeno, bringing personalised itineraries and intelligent travel management to an industry ripe for disruption.
Serko makes key industry hires in North America, building a team and establishing operations and partnerships in the region.
An increasing demand from international investors sees Serko undertake a compliance listing on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX Ticker: SKO).
Serko acquires InterplX, an expense management company, and establishes North American headquarters near key Midwest partners to strengthen its presence.
Serko and Booking Holdings sign a partnership agreement to launch a new version of Booking.com for Business powered by Zeno.
Zeno-powered Booking.com for Business goes live in nearly 150 countries, with flight content added to Booking.com's extensive accommodation inventory.
Despite the global business travel slowdown, Serko has NZ$90 million in cash reserves, zero debt and invests in product innovation to capitalise on the travel recovery.
Booking.com for Business powered by Zeno now features access to exclusive corporate rates, loyalty rewards and 24/7 travel agent servicing. More than 600,000 companies have now signed up.