Priceline boss Huston quits amid probe into relationship with staff member

Priceline boss Huston quits amid probe into relationship with staff member

The boss of Priceline Group has quit following a company probe into personal relationship he had with a member of staff.

Darren Huston had been chief executive of the US online travel organisation since January 2014, but his sudden departure triggered a senior management shake-up as it searches for a replacement.

Priceline said: “Mr Huston resigned following an investigation overseen by independent members of the board of directors of the facts and circumstances surrounding a personal relationship that Mr Huston had with an employee of the company who was not under his direct supervision.

“The investigation determined that Mr Huston had acted contrary to the company’s code of conduct and had engaged in activities inconsistent with the board’s expectations for executive conduct, which Mr Huston acknowledged and for which he expressed regret.”

Former chief executive and current chairman, Jeffery Boyd, was named as interim chief executive while the board conducts a search for a successor.

Huston will also step down as chief executive of subsidiary Booking.com and will be replaced by Booking.com’s chief operating officer Gillian Tans.

The disclosure comes just days ahead of the company announcing its second quarter financial results on Wednesday May 4.

Lead independent director, James Guyette, said: “I am satisfied with the board’s thorough review of this issue.

“The performance of the business under Darren has been strong, and the company is very well-positioned to continue executing on its strategy for growth.

“Jeff is deeply familiar with the company’s strategy and leadership team, which consists of highly accomplished entrepreneurs and seasoned professional executives with long-tenure in the business.

“We are confident the company is in strong hands while we conduct a search for a new CEO.”

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