CHICAGO, IL – Orbitz Worldwide, Inc. announced today the appointment of Barney Harford as the company’s president and CEO. Harford has also been appointed to the Orbitz Worldwide board of directors. Harford will succeed Steve Barnhart who resigned to pursue other interests. Barnhart will remain with the company through early April in an advisory role to assist with the transition.
“Barney Harford brings extensive experience in building and operating online travel businesses around the world. He spent nearly eight years at Expedia developing the company’s air, car, private label, and telesales businesses, most recently leading the company’s entry into the Asia Pacific region,” said Jeff Clarke, chairman of the Orbitz Worldwide board of directors. “Barney’s appointment marks an important moment in the development of Orbitz Worldwide as it becomes a more operationally-efficient organization and grows its presence in international markets.”
“Orbitz Worldwide owns a set of strong travel brands that are well known in their respective markets, including Orbitz, Orbitz for Business, CheapTickets, ebookers, HotelClub, and Away,” said Barney Harford, president and CEO, Orbitz Worldwide. “I am excited by the opportunity to lead this team as we focus on building a global marketplace that delivers meaningful value to both consumers and suppliers around the world.”
“Steve Barnhart played a critical role as CEO in taking Orbitz Worldwide public and leading a major re-engineering process,” added Clarke. “The board of directors extends its thanks to Steve for these accomplishments and his years of service.”
In addition to its leadership transition, Orbitz Worldwide today announced that it will take further measures to lower its operating costs. In combination with the expense and workforce reductions announced in November 2008, these latest measures are designed to position Orbitz Worldwide for success in the face of the challenging economic prospects for the global travel industry. Over the next several weeks, Orbitz Worldwide will implement measures designed to lower its cost structure by an estimated additional US$20-25 million annually, in addition to the US$20 million of annual cost reductions announced in November 2008.
About Barney Harford
Barney Harford has extensive experience building and operating internet businesses. For the past two years he has served in board and advisory capacities to internet companies in travel and other verticals. Harford currently serves on the board of directors of LiquidPlanner, an on-demand project management service that helps companies manage uncertainty and GlobalEnglish, a leading provider of online English language training services to multinational corporations. Harford served on the board of directors of eLong, which is controlled by Expedia, from 2004 to 2008, and as an advisor to Kayak.com in 2008.
Harford served in a variety of roles at Expedia, Inc. from 1999 to 2006. As president of Expedia Asia Pacific from 2004 to 2006, he launched Expedia’s business in the region, leading the company’s entry into China, Japan, and Australia and the company’s controlling investment in eLong. Previously, Harford served as senior vice president of Air, Car & Private Label; developed Expedia’s private label business, WWTE, and Expedia’s telesales business; and led Expedia’s Corporate Development, Strategic Planning and Investor Relations functions. He joined Expedia as a product planner in 1999 when Expedia was a division of Microsoft.
Prior to joining Expedia, Harford worked in the United Kingdom as a strategy consultant with The Kalchas Group. He holds an MBA from INSEAD and a Master of Arts degree in Natural Sciences from Clare College, Cambridge University.