SSP Promotes Murray; Eyes Central, South American Expansion

SSP America has promoted Patrick Murray to the position of deputy CEO.

In this role, Murray will take on expanded responsibilities from his current position as executive vice president by leading the company’s expansion into Central and South America. Murray will serve as president of the Central and South American operations and be responsible for building a new development and operations team.

SSP opened locations in Brazilian airports in 2019, and Murray says the initial plan for expansion beyond that was stalled due to the pandemic. “Our plan is to grow in Central and South America,” Murray said. He declined to identify specific expansion targets.

Murray has been with SSP since 2007. His responsibilities have included business development, design and construction, brands and concepts, strategic partnerships and corporate marketing and communications. Murray drove the company’s industry leading growth from 2014 to 2019 adding more than 21 airports to the SSP America portfolio. Working with SSP America CEO Michael Svagdis, Murray spearheaded efforts to solidify the company’s brand strategy with the development of key messaging and efforts to build a strong internal people culture.

In addition, Murray was appointed as the Chair of the Board for the Airport Restaurant and Retail Association (ARRA) in late 2019 and led, in conjunction with other industry leaders, the organization during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I am so grateful to Michael Svagdis and everyone at SSP Group,” Murray said. “I have so many people from around our channel to thank for all the support they have provided in my career. At the top of the list, though, are my dear friends and colleagues in business development at SSP.”

Svagdis said the Murray appointment signals SSP’s growth intentions. “Our sights are firmly set on the future as we work to expand our footprint throughout the Americas and carve out a unique niche in the aviation space, given our passion for bringing a taste of place to the airports we serve and commitment to our team of food travel experts,” he said. “ Pat has been an integral part of our success and will be key to our future growth.”