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RedBalloon adds first CMO to exec team

RedBalloon has a new seat at its executive table, with the appointment of its first ever chief marketing officer, Rapthi Thanapalasingam.

Thanapalasingam, who most recently led MasterCard’s ANZ digital and social strategy, has been tasked with helping the online retailer expand beyond gifts as experiences and into the travel and tourism sector.

With over 15 years of experience in the tourism, telecommunications and financial services industries, Thanapalasingam is an ideal fit for the new CMO role, RedBalloon’s CEO Nick Baker said.

“Specifically, we were looking for a CMO with strong commercial and e-commerce experience, a pedigree in travel and tourism and a natural affinity for fast paced and progressive environments. So Rapthi is an ideal fit for RedBalloon at this exciting time.”

Thanapalasingam said she is looking forward to leading the marketing team at a company that embodies her own values.

“A core philosophy of RedBalloon is to treasure life experiences and not just material things – it’s about getting out there and doing things and creating memories – I try to live by this every day,” she said.

RedBalloon has also appointed a new chief technology officer, Brett Raven, who will be taking over from Simon Farrell.

Raven joins the RedBalloon team with over 25 years of experience in software development, most recently as CTO of Lux Group, which operates 15 e-commerce sites, including The Home, Brands Exclusive, Living Social and

Baker said he expects both Thanapalasingam and Raven to be strong voices at the executive table as the retailer enters a new chapter of growth.

“The relationship between CMO and CTO at RedBalloon is a vital one as we are both a marketing and technology company, poised for some exciting new initiatives that will heavily impact both areas. Both hires are integral to the continued growth of RedBalloon,” he said.


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