RedBalloon gets new CMO, CTO

Former MasterCard digital and social leader becomes first chief marketing officer for gift experience website

Rapthi Thanapalasingam
Rapthi Thanapalasingam

RedBalloon has kicked off the new year by appointed a new chief marketing officer and chief technology officer.

The group’s first CMO, Rapthi Thanapalasingam, was the former lead of digital and social strategy for MasterCard in Australia and New Zealand, and played a key role in building relationships with partners around the merchant company’s Priceless platform. She has 15 years’experience across the tourism, telecommunications and financial services sectors.

RedBalloon’s new CTO, Brett Raven, was recently technology chief at Lux Group and has 25 years’ experience in software development. He joins the online company on 30 January and takes over former CTO, Simon Farrell.

RedBalloon CEO, Nick Baker, said the two executive-level appointments were key to the business as its looks to expand beyond its gift experiences business and into travel and tourism.

“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,”he said in a statement.“Both hires are integral to the continued growth of RedBalloon.

“Specifically, we were looking for a CMO with strong commercial and ecommerce 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 as looking forward to bringing her expertise to the ecommerce space and leading the marketing function.

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

Raven, meanwhile, has a passion for using technology to solve business problems, Baker said.

“His depth of hands-on experience championing the role of tech in driving business outcomes, will see him hit the ground running and make a terrific contribution to the RedBalloon business,” he said.

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