Gunay Uslu, the current Secretary of State for Culture and Media for the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, recently announced that she will resign from her position. Uslu, who is part of the outgoing cabinet, has decided to return to the Corendon family business.
This move follows a request from the company where she will take on the role of CEO. The current CEO of Corendon, Steven van der Heijden, has to resign for personal reasons, which is why Uslu (51) feels called to take on this responsibility. “I am going back to our family business Corendon,” Uslu said in her letter.
In her statement, which she recently made public, Uslu emphasized her deep-rooted bond with Corendon and her obligation to lead the company in times of need. She has asked the King to dismiss her from her current position with effect from December 1. Her decision comes amid the ongoing cabinet formation, making the timing of her departure even more remarkable.
Uslu now takes over the daily management from Steven van der Heijden, who is stepping back for personal reasons. However, Van der Heijden remains involved in a part-time capacity with the management of Corendon, which also includes founder Atilay Uslu. Uslu's period as State Secretary was characterized by various initiatives and projects in the field of culture and media. Her contributions to these sectors and her overall commitment to the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science have been clearly visible during her tenure. The D66 member was in the news last week in a discussion about retaining Ongehoord Nederland in the NPO.
From the beginning, Gunay Uslu has been involved with Corendon, the company founded by her brother Atilay. She built the travel organization with him in the late 2014s. She studied cultural history at the UvA and obtained her PhD in 2015. She then combined a teaching position at the UvA with various administrative and supervisory positions in the cultural sector. In 2022 she came back to work partly at Corendon, this time in the hotel branch. As director of Hotel Development, she has developed, among others, the Corendon Village hotel in Badhoevedorp and the Mangrove Beach Resort on Curaçao. Gunay Uslu was State Secretary for Culture and Media in the Rutte IV cabinet from January XNUMX.
In addition to CEO Gunay Uslu, Harry Nigten is appointed as CFO and Simone van den Berk as COO. They are also no strangers to the travel world. Harry Nigten (54) has been working at Corendon since 2015 as Director of Business Controlling and Business Intelligence and is a member of the MT. Before that, he worked in the travel industry at TUI Netherlands for 23 years, the last seven years of which as Finance Director at Arkefly, now TUIfly.
Simone van den Berk (49) has worked at Corendon since 2015 as Director HR, Communications & CSR and is a member of the MT. She started her career as Marketing Manager at a long-distance travel specialist, after which she switched to Thomas Cook Netherlands in 2013. At market leader TUI Netherlands she was responsible for PR, spokesperson and corporate communications for more than ten years.