Polarsteps Appoints Clare Jones as CEO, Marking a New Era of Global Expansion

NETHERLANDS: Polarsteps, the leading travel app for planning, tracking, and reliving trips, is embarking on a thrilling journey of its own today, after proudly announcing Clare Jones as its new CEO. This leadership transition comes at an exciting time for the Amsterdam-based scale-up, which is gearing up for a new and accelerated chapter of growth after reaching the milestone of a global community of 10 million travelers.

Clare Jones joins Polarsteps from what3words, where she spent the past eight years playing a crucial role in scaling the company as Chief Commercial Officer. Her extensive experience in driving business growth and establishing global partnerships is set to transform Polarsteps from a celebrated Dutch scale-up — already recognized as the most downloaded travel app in the Netherlands post-pandemic — into a major player on the global travel tech stage.

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“With so much organic growth to date, I’m excited to see what will happen as we scale our growth and marketing functions to help more people learn about (and fall in love with!) Polarsteps,” says Jones. “Telling people I’m moving to join Polarsteps and seeing some of them whip out their phones and show me their beautiful adventures has been a really special experience over the last few weeks. Now that our community has grown to 10 million registered travelers, I’m excited to see us reach 20 million, then 50 million more!”

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Co-founder Maximiliano Neustadt, who is returning to his previous role as Chief Technology Officer after his interim stint as CEO, expressed his enthusiasm for the new appointment: “We’d set an incredibly high bar for our next CEO, so high that it took us a long time to find the perfect candidate. But to now be welcoming someone as talented as Jones proves that the wait was worth it. Her wealth of experience and track record in scaling a business is just what is needed to lead Polarsteps to new heights.”

This leadership enhancement is poised to not only complement the existing team’s skill set but also accelerate and broaden the company’s growth plans.

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“We have huge ambitions for the future,” Neustadt added. “And bringing Jones aboard will not only be instrumental in pursuing these, but will also allow me and my fellow founders to focus on building our product, which is where we can add the most value. To us, it’s the best way forward to turn Polarsteps into a category-defining travel platform worldwide.”

Cultural Alignment and Visionary Leadership at Polarsteps with Clare Jones

Finding the right fit for this role went beyond just leadership skills and commercial expertise. Neustadt emphasized the importance of cultural alignment: “It was important to us that the person stepping into this role had a true appreciation of the remarkable culture we’ve created within our company and team, and a wish to cultivate and preserve this. This was clear with Jones from the start.”

Jones echoed this sentiment: “There’s something incredibly unique about the team at Polarsteps. It’s a company where culture matters hugely. I love that I’ll get to be part of a business that cares so much about its people and about building a company that’s positive for the team and for the world.

“I’ve experienced firsthand how travel can be personally transformative, fostering understanding across cultures and highlighting our shared connections,” Jones recalls. “I’m excited to join a team dedicated to helping people explore and discover the world in a beautiful and responsible way. I also appreciate the ambitious mission here; there currently isn’t an end-to-end travel app for planning, tracking, and reliving adventures. I want to be part of making that a reality.”

Clare Jones is British, was featured in the 2019 Forbes 30 under 30 list for technology and is an angel investor of companies with positive social and environmental missions, such as slow-travel company Byway. Jones also volunteers with NGOs working with vulnerable women and refugees in London.

Polarsteps, the Amsterdam-based scale-up founded in 2015, has become an indispensable companion for over 10 million travelers worldwide. The app, known for its smart and visually appealing interface, enables users to plan, track, and relive their journeys. Supported by a dedicated team of over 50 international talents, Polarsteps is committed to igniting the spirit of adventure in modern explorers. The company’s ambitious mission is to lead a global shift towards more authentic, meaningful, and responsible travel.

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  • Sahra ArdahSahra Ardah

    International artist, art director and producer. Covering human stories and trending topics.
    She has a PhD in History of Art (2009), and Journalism Master Honors (2009-2011).

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