London-based start-up Impala announces four new senior leadership hires from Google, Airbnb and


Today Impala, the London-based startup using technology to empower and reimagine the travel industry, has announced four new senior leadership hires with a wealth of experience at leading technology and travel businesses including Google, Airbnb and

Part of the business’s rapid expansion, the new Impala leadership team includes Leigh Jenkinson, who joins as VP of Sales, formerly from Google, and Patrick Heaphy as Sales Operations Director, with over 10 years’ experience working with travel businesses including Airbnb. Polly Marshall joins as Product Marketing Director from one of Europe’s most significant tech companies of the last decade, This is in addition to Matt Antos-Lewis as Director of Demand Generation who comes from security solutions provider Verkada.

The appointments come after three significant exec hires in 2021, including Lionel Paillet who joined as COO from Apple and Nest, where he previously headed sales for Apple in 15 European countries during the company’s exponential growth. Caroline Hudack joined as CMO from Airbnb, where she led marketing for Europe, after 3.5 years in several senior global marketing roles at Facebook, and Robin Clifford who joined as VP of Global Supply, having previously led supply in Northern Europe for Airbnb and held senior roles at


CEO Ben Stephenson explains: 

We’re on a steep growth trajectory at Impala on our mission to reimagine the world of travel and enable business models that have been impossible for decades. We’re assembling a best-in-class team in travel and tech to do this and are incredibly excited by the new hires we have on board. Our new senior leaders will help us to lead the charge in simple and efficient travel solutions, breaking down the walls of old tech, and providing new opportunities for the travel sector.” 

Quick and easy to access, Impala is an API platform which allows hotels and room sellers to work together directly to negotiate bespoke commercial terms, allowing room sellers to access any hotel in the world and onboard them in under 48 hours. Impala handles the hotel onboarding, ensures high quality content, and manages the end-to-end guest experience including payment. Impala is the new travel platform of choice for startups looking to move into new markets and large tech companies looking to move into travel.

With backing from Lakestar, Kima Ventures, Stride VC and Latitude – who backed Airbnb, Trivago and Deliveroo, to name just a few – Impala is constantly adapting and innovating to enable better travel experiences for everyone.


About new hires:

Leigh Jenkinson joins as VP of Sales from Google where she held the position of Head of UK Hardware Sales for three years. Prior to this Leigh held roles at both Nest and Apple and joins a long list of talent from Canada who have recently entered the Impala fold.


Patrick Heaphy joins as Sales Operations Director. With over 10 years of experience in sales and sales operations. Including over four years at Airbnb as Head of Supply for the Middle East and Africa post leading Sales and Managed Accounts for the UKI, France, Northern Europe and Middle East and Africa. Prior to this Patrick worked at Meetings Booker where he led sales and partnerships, and as a result has experience in both highly consumer focused travel and day-to-day sales.


Polly Marshall joins Impala as Product Marketing Director. Polly has led Product Marketing for one of Europe’s most significant tech companies of the last decade, Prior to that Polly headed up Product Marketing for GoCardless, another ‘unicorn’ business based in London. She built both teams from scratch during the respective positions.


Matt Antos-Lewis joins as Director of Demand Generation from security solutions provider Verkada, where he was previously EMEA Marketing Lead. During this time Matt was responsible for building and leading an EMEA marketing function to support Verkada’s European expansion. Other previous roles include senior marketing positions with US-based cloud software technology companies Conversica and Anaplan.



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