Amsterdam-based e-bike maker VanMoof appoints former Booking.com CEO Gillian Tans as chairwoman

Amsterdam-based e-bike maker VanMoof announced on Tuesday that it has appointed Gillian Tans as president, a major new hire for the company. Tans takes up his new duties with immediate effect.

Who is Gillian Tans?

Gillian Tans is a Dutch businesswoman and former CEO of Booking.com, an online accommodation booking platform based in Amsterdam. During his 20-year tenure, Tans oversaw the Dutch startup’s expansion to become the world’s leading online travel agency. She is known as one of the best operators in the tech industry as well as a strong advocate for diversity. Furthermore, she has also been cited as one of the most inspiring women in the Dutch tech sector.

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At VanMoof, Tans will help realize the company’s vision of making e-bikes the default transportation choice for getting around cities around the world. In her new role as President, she will lead the company’s leadership team and oversee business operations to further strengthen VanMoof’s position as a revolutionary leader in today’s growing mobility category.

Speaking on the development, Gillian Tans says: “Born and raised on a bike, I’ve seen with my own eyes how riding opens up cities. As a dedicated VanMoof rider myself, I’ve followed the Taco and Ties journey over the years and am thrilled to play a part in scaling this brand at such an exciting time.

VanMoof, which was founded by brothers Taco and Ties Carlier with a vision of creating the perfect city bike, has worked closely with Tans since it first invested in the company several years ago. Over the years, the brothers have developed a deep respect for Tans’ managerial and executive expertise, the company explains in a press release.

According to a statement, his appointment will allow the Carlier brothers – who remain co-CEOs – to focus on long-term strategy. Ties will remain focused on product innovation, while Taco will focus on the global business strategy of scaling.

Expansion of management expertise

The company’s decision to introduce the role of President is the result of months of operational planning and marks the next phase of VanMoof’s growth. Tans’ experience combines years at the highest executive level, building “world class” teams and scaling global operations – factors that will be crucial in the next stage of Tans’ growth. VanMoof, the company says.

Taco Carlier says, “We are thrilled to have Gillian join us. She has been an incredibly valuable mentor to me and Ties over the years. It’s great that we can now build the next chapter of VanMoof together. How we evolve is as important as how we develop our product. Deepening our leadership with Gillian ably prepares VanMoof to realize our ambitious goals in this next chapter for the company.

“The next generation of electric driving”

VanMoof was founded by Dutch brothers Taco and Ties Carlier in 2009 with a vision to create the perfect city bike. The company develops and designs urban electric bikes and also offers different digital devices such as anti-theft systems, smart motor and automatic electronic gear shifting that enable commuters and office workers to travel with a sustainable mode of transportation.

VanMoof-branded stores are in Amsterdam, Berlin, London, New York, Paris, San Francisco, Seattle and Tokyo, with planned expansion to 50 cities worldwide through dedicated service centers by the end of 2022.

Last month, the e-bike maker announced its latest generation of e-bikes, VanMoof S5 and A5. The e-bikes feature a quiet and powerful motor, long range battery and anti-theft technology. The announcement came six months after the announcement of a high-speed e-bike, dubbed the VanMoof V.

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