These are the most powerful people in the online travel community on a global scale. When these ten sneeze the rest of the world generally catches a cold.
Steve Barnhart, chief executive, Orbitz Worldwide
Steve has worked his way across a number of sectors including chemicals and beverages. He is currently overseeing the Orbitz Worldwide structure and the roll out of a global technology platform.
Jeffrey Boyd, president, Priceline
Jeffrey joined Priceline in January 2000. Since then he has spearheaded a growth strategy, which included buying the Active Hotels brand and launch of the Booking.com site in Europe.
Brian Sharples, chief executive, HomeAway
Brian is head of one of the fastest-growing travel companies in the world. HomeAway, after grabbing $200 million worth of funding in 2005, already controls a chunk of the rentals market and is aggressive in its growth strategy, most recently in Europe.
Jeff Clarke, chief executive, Travelport
Jeff is a highly skilled power broker, having overseen the merger of HP and Compaq. Since spinning off Orbitz Worldwide in July, Jeff has set about ensuring Travelport becomes a giant of travel technology and aggregator of product.
Sam Gilliland, chief executive, Sabre Holdings
A former defence industry specialist, Sam has worked his way through the ranks at Sabre since 1988 to take the top job. Global expansion of the Sabre brands has occurred during Sam’s watch as well as the decision to sell the company to a private equity firm in March 2007.
Steve Hafner, chief executive, Kayak
Steve and co are seen by many as the current pioneers in the sector, both technically and commercially. The company has less than 100 employees and under Steve’s control is producing functionality admired throughout the meta arena.
Steve Kaufer, chief executive, TripAdvisor
Steve is one of the few travel executives who was there at TripAdvisor’s inception. Steve is credited with pushing user-generated content to the mainstream and setting a benchmark others are finding difficult to meet.
Dara Khosrowshahi, president, Expedia Inc
Arguably the biggest job in online travel, Dara oversees a string of businesses including the mainstream Expedia brand, Hotels.com, Hitwire.com and TripAdvisor.
Michelle Pelluso, president and chief executive, Travelocity
Michelle has worked for the White House, but she swapped politics for business in 2000. She spearheaded Travelocity’s acquisitions of Lastminute.com and the Asia-Pacific OTA Zuji.com as well as turning around the fortunes of the core Travelocity brand.
Jose Antonio Tazon, president and chief executive, Amadeus
One of the longest serving CEOs in the business, former Iberia exec Jose has transformed Amadeus from a pureplay GDS into one of the leading travel technology firms in the world.