About Dirk Baerts
Getting to know the person behind the
I2ACT management philosophy
Dirk Baerts is an entrepreneurial executive & business coach with over 25 years of experience in starting & leading companies into accelerated expansion. He also specialized in turning struggling organizations around into profitable & growing entities, and taking large corporations through post-M&A integrations and change management processes. His work has taken him to almost all continents across the globe (just not Antarctica), leading cross-functional teams from various cultures and geographies. He has been active in the technology and travel industry and worked with and for start-ups, medium-sized and multinational companies, both privately-owned and publicly traded. It is this long-standing experience that formed the foundation for the I2ACT management philosophy.
Intrigued by innovation, he started his career in the technology industry in Belgium, Mr. Baerts set up European sales, marketing, and distribution channels for North American start-up companies, working with leading European technology manufacturers, distributors, and retailers. Initially focusing on networking and communication manufacturers, as technology evolved, his focus shifted towards mobile technologies and gaming. Later in his career, as the Director, International OEM sales for Xircom Inc., he also led the division responsible for the sales of communication components and products to computer manufacturers in Europe, Asia, Australia, and Japan. During that time, he managed sales, marketing, operations & engineering teams, with offices in Europe (Belgium, UK & Germany), Singapore and Japan, and operated as Interim Director for 6 months leading the North American OEM group. Following the acquisition of Xircom Inc. by Intel Corp, Mr. Baerts set up a European sales organization for Intel Corp, directly selling to Europe’s leading telecom operators and internet providers.
At a later stage, Dirk Baerts changed industry, moving into the travel industry, albeit keeping a keen eye on innovation. As Country Manager he led Expedia’s corporate travel management company (Egencia) in Belgium through the 2008 financial crisis, expanding it rapidly in the post-crisis years, before being transferred to Canada to become the Managing Director of Egencia’s Canadian travel management operations. Under his leadership, which had him oversee the sales, account management, call center operations, and finance for both the Canadian corporate travel management business and the North American Meetings & Incentives group, both entities saw significant growth in revenue and EBITDA year after year.
Most recently, prior to starting I2ACT Canada’s management consulting and interim & fractional management business, he held the role of Chief Operating Officer (COO) at the H.I.S. Merit Travel Group. As COO, he oversaw the online, retail & call center sales organizations, the marketing group, as well as the IT, Development and Data Analytics – Business Intelligence teams of the group, responsible for the consumer travel, loyalty-points redemption travel, and corporate travel management divisions.
Born and educated in Belgium, he graduated from the University of Antwerp (RUCA) with a degree in Business Engineering. He also holds an Executive MBA degree from the University of Antwerp Management School.
Dirk Baerts is married to his wife Ilse and has 3 sons. He currently lives in Oakville, ON, and occasionally can be seen on a golf course for a relaxing round of golf.