Orbitz Worldwide appointed former Expedia executive Barney Harford president and CEO, succeeding Steven Barnhart who will leave in April after six years with the company to "pursue other interests." Harford has served on the boards of eLong and Kayak, and marked his time at Expedia by building in Asia-Pacific and developing the company's air, car, private label and telesales businesses. [more]
Speaking today during a conference call, Harford said, "The themes I'm excited about for us as a company or the industry in general are around the areas of marketplace technology--how do you create compelling ways to match suppliers and consumers together? How to find ways to segment demand to access really compelling values from suppliers and bring those to the benefit of consumers. How can you harness power of consumers on the sites to bring the power of user-generated content to the marketplace?"
Bread and butter stuff, really, as Harford acknowledged: "Those are some of the broad themes. People in the industry have been doing this for a while ... Orbitz too ... but I'm very excited by the opportunity to continue to do that."