Jeff Zidell has been Hyatt’s head of loyalty for about nine years, and is a great guy. I’ve had the opportunity to meet him on many occasions, and I’ve found him to be one of the most passionate people working in the industry.
Earlier this year he led the effort of rebranding Hyatt Gold Passport as World of Hyatt, which was no doubt a huge project, and easily one of the biggest loyalty program transformations we’ve ever seen.
Well, I’ve just received word that Jeff Zidell has decided to leave Hyatt. With the launch of World of Hyatt behind him, he has decided that now is the best time to embark on the next chapter of his professional life. Hyatt is in the process of finding a replacement for Jeff, and in the meantime Gina Tallarico will step in to take his place. She’s Hyatt’s VP of Marketing, Planning, and Implementation.
I wish Jeff all the best, and I think he’s the guy to thank for what a great program Gold Passport was. He built a program that was transparent, under promised and over delivered, and had some of the most innovative promotions we’ve ever seen. Remember the incredible Faster Free Nights promotion Hyatt used to run? That was all Jeff.
While I’ve been a critic of the World of Hyatt program, I suspect many of the principles of the program came from over his head. I’d rather not speculate on that in relation to this decision, and for me Jeff will have a very positive legacy at Hyatt. I’ve taken so many incredible, unforgettable trips thanks to Hyatt Gold Passport, and I have Jeff to thank for those.
Good luck to Jeff on his future endeavors. I’m curious to see what this will mean for the future of the World of Hyatt program.