Meet the team

Meet the Unilode Aviation Solutions Executive Leadership Team, the personification of expertise and experience in the aviation solutions industry.
Click on the photo to read more about them.

Ross Marino

Chief Executive Officer

Ross Marino

Chief Executive Officer

Ross Marino is a British national with over 30 years of aviation experience, having worked in numerous senior and executive management roles in Australia, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. He had a 15-year-long career at dnata, one of the world’s largest providers of ground handling and air services, where he was instrumental in growing dnata into a leading global organisation, and most recently held the position of Chief Executive Officer Europe. Previously, Ross worked for Menzies Aviation, another leading ground handling and air services provider, and Emirates Airline. Ross was appointed CEO of Unilode in February 2022.

Ross holds a Master of Science degree in Aviation from the University of New South Wales, Australia, and completed an executive education programme at the London Business School.

Babak Yazdani

Chief Operating Officer

Babak Yazdani

Chief Operating Officer

Babak Yazdani is a Danish national with several years of experience in operational excellence, customer operations and business transformation. Prior to joining Unilode in January 2018, he worked for Philips as Head of Global Operations, Business Transformation Leader and Head of Operational Excellence. Babak had a long career in various business units of DHL between 1998 and 2009 where he held several senior executive positions including Director of Operational Performance Management, Senior Director of Operational Strategy and VP of Operational Planning and Development.

Babak has a Master of Science in Mathematics and Economics from the Aarhus University (Denmark), and an Executive MBA from the European School of Management and Technology (Germany). He speaks English, Danish and Persian fluently, and has strong working knowledge in Norwegian and Swedish.

Mohammed Akhlaq

Chief Commercial Officer

Mohammed Akhlaq

Chief Commercial Officer

Mohammed Akhlaq is a British national with over 30 years’ experience in senior commercial and operational roles in the aviation industry. He has worked closely with airlines, ground handlers and logistics companies and is a trusted liaison in the industry. Mohammed’s most recent role was Chief Commercial Officer for Europe at dnata where his commercial prowess has enabled the company to grow significantly and achieve an incredibly strong brand recognition. Mohammed was appointed CCO of Unilode in November 2022.

Mark Coates

Chief Financial Officer

Mark Coates

Chief Financial Officer

Mark is a British national with over 16 years’ experience in the logistics and aviation sectors. His experience spans three continents, having held senior finance positions in Australia, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.

Mark joined Unilode in November 2022 after almost 10 years with dnata, one of the world’s largest providers of ground handling and air services. At dnata he held the positions of CFO Australia, Global VP Finance for Airport Operations and CFO Europe. Prior to dnata Mark spent seven years in various roles with Toll Holdings, the Asian region’s leading provider of integrated logistics services.

Mark holds a BSc in Accounting and Finance from the London School of Economics. He is a member of CPA Australia and completed an executive leadership program at Warwick Business School.

Bas Vermeer

Chief Information Officer

Bas Vermeer

Chief Information Officer

Bas Vermeer is a Dutch national with 25 years of experience in IT and Digitalisation. After an initial start as a Logistics Strategy Consultant for Deloitte & Touche Bakkenist, Bas joined Philips in 2003, where he worked in various roles in IT. In his last role as VP Applications and Infrastructure he was responsible for all IT Services for Philips across all Business Units globally. In 2014 Bas joined T-Systems, a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom, where he managed all IT delivery to Shell as VP Delivery for six years after which he became responsible for the Private Cloud portfolio of T-Systems for all enterprise customers. He joined Unilode in January 2023 as Chief Information Officer.

Bas has a Master of Science in Industrial Engineering and Management Science from Eindhoven University of Technology, and completed his PhD in IT and Logistics titled: “Data Quality and Data Alignment in E-business” from the same University. Bas speaks Dutch and English fluently, and is proficient in German.

Joseph Jensen

Chief Digital Officer

Joseph Jensen

Chief Digital Officer

Joseph is an American national who has spent his professional career at some of the largest passenger airlines. Joseph has extensive experience in above wing, below wing, and cargo operations. He started at a US regional carrier in 2000 and held successive leadership positions at United Airlines, US Airways, Northwest Airlines and Delta.  In 2015 Delta appointed Joseph as the head of a new ULD Control Group to oversee in-house MRO operations, sourcing, logistics, operations, regulatory compliance and digitalisation. While in the role his team successfully implemented the first and largest ULD IoT to date in the air cargo business. Additionally, Joseph led joint international initiatives with Delta’s equity and Sky Team partners. Joseph joined Unilode in 2019 and is currently holding the position of Chief Digital Officer. Joseph is extremely passionate in use of big data analytics and advanced techniques to improve airline safety, customer experience and operations.

Joseph is Agile and Lean Black Belt certified and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Mathematics from Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, Minnesota and a Master’s in Business Administration – Finance.

Nikki Macfarlane

Chief People Officer

Nikki Macfarlane

Chief People Officer

Steve Williams

Chief QHS & ESG Officer

Steve Williams

Chief QHS & ESG Officer

Steve Williams is a British national with extensive international and domestic experience in Quality Assurance, Occupational Health & Safety and Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) disciplines.  Steve joined Unilode in November 2022 and is responsible for the QHS & ESG Strategy for Unilode.  Steve has experience in the Aviation industry where he was Vice President for QHSE at dnata Group HQ in Dubai.  Steve has also worked in the Oil & Gas, 3rd party Logistics and Cargo industries with QHSE leadership responsibilities.

Steve is a Technical member of the Institute of Occupational Safety & Health (IOSH) and is NEBOSH qualified.  Steve believes that effective communication and engagement are crucial elements to success and he is passionate about his role.

Mario Holzer

Chief Strategy & Transformation Officer

Mario Holzer

Chief Strategy & Transformation Officer

Mario Holzer is a Swiss national and has started his professional career at PwC in Corporate Finance/ M&A Advisory. In 2013 he moved to Bain & Company where he worked in Switzerland, Europe and Latin America as an Engagement Manager on Strategy, Corporate Finance, Performance Improvement, Commercial Excellence and Org Design/ Operating Model projects for Corporate clients and Value Creation projects for Private Equity clients. Since 2018, Mario works at Unilode where he held the roles of Head of PMO and Strategic Projects, MD Leasing Services and VP Global Operations before being promoted to Chief Strategy & Transformation Officer in 2022.

Mario is a CFA Charterholder and has earned a Master of Finance from HEC University of Lausanne (Switzerland) and UCLA Anderson School of Management (USA). He speaks German and English fluently and has working knowledge in French and Spanish.