On the heels of its $3.5 billion investment in Israel, the e-commerce company has hired a former Israeli minister of public security and security intelligence to be its new chief executive.
Miguel Angel Gil, 56, who served as defense minister from 2005 to 2012, is being brought on to help guide Expedia in the country where its first office is located.
Gil, who is married to an Israeli woman, was a minister in the Knesset and served as the head of the Israeli military intelligence unit for over a decade, before retiring in 2009.
Gil is a highly regarded political figure in Israel and is widely considered one of the country’s best-known figures in Israel’s security establishment.
Gil will serve as a deputy chief executive of Expedia.
He was previously the head and chief executive officer of the Tel Aviv-based Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, the countrys largest stock exchange.
Gil has been with Expedia since 2009, and has held the title of chief financial officer.
Gil will be responsible for the company’s operations and strategy and will also serve as CEO of Expia.
Gil came to Expedia from the company that acquired the Jerusalem Stock Exchange in 2012.
His tenure at Tel Aviv’s Stock Exchange was marred by the assassination of an Israeli politician in 2011.
Gil served as Israel’s minister of security intelligence and the head or head of a major military unit before retiring from the military in 2009, according to a news release from the Expedia CEO’s office.
Gil joined Expedia as a partner in 2006, when he was the head economist for the Jerusalem Exchange and then was named its chief economist in 2011, according the company.
Gil was a former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, where he was responsible for overseeing the country for over two decades.
Gil’s new position will be a significant boost for the Israeli tech giant as it seeks to expand its presence in Israel in the wake of its announcement last month that it had agreed to buy the Israeli e-hosting service Jet.com for $1.5-billion in cash and stock.
Gil joins Expedia amid the Israeli government’s push to attract more Israeli investors.
In December, the government approved an ordinance allowing the government to license the technology companies and online retailers to conduct business in Israel.
Gil and Expedia are expected to sign an agreement to expand their presence in the Israeli market by 2020.
Gil told The Jerusalem Report last month he was “a bit disappointed” with the decision, but said the move was a matter of business.
Gil said in an interview with the newspaper, that while he was a “big fan of Israel and the Jewish people, I also think it’s important to diversify and expand our presence.”
Gil said he is “very proud” of the company, adding that the Israeli capital is a place where “we are all Israelis.”