Darren Huston Named Chief Executive Officer of Booking.com
NORWALK, Conn, September 26, 2011 . . . The Priceline Group (Nasdaq: PCLN) today announced that former Microsoft executive Darren Huston, 45, has been named Chief Executive Officer of Booking.com. Booking.com is part of The Priceline Group and is the number-one online hotel reservation service in the world, offering over 165,000 hotels in 43 languages. As announced earlier this year, Booking.com’s previous CEO, Kees Koolen, will transition to Chairman of Booking.com.
Mr. Huston, who is a Canadian native, brings a deep portfolio of related experience to Booking.com. Since 2008, he served as Microsoft Corporation’s Corporate Vice President, Consumer & Online, responsible for the company’s consumer and advertising businesses in over 40 countries. From 2005-2008, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer, Microsoft Japan, which is the company’s largest subsidiary outside the United States. Before joining Microsoft in 2003, Mr. Huston was a Senior Vice President at Starbucks Corporation, responsible for acquisitions and new product development. He has also served as an executive with McKinsey & Company, and as an economic advisor to the Government of Canada. Mr. Huston holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, an MA/Economics from the University of British Columbia, and a BS/Economics from Ontario’s Trent University.
“Darren Huston has extensive knowledge of two landscapes that are very important to the continued success of Booking.com,” said Jeffery H. Boyd, President and CEO of Priceline. “He is extremely familiar with the online marketing landscape and the strategies that work in different markets around the world. And his leadership of business activities in Japan and 40 other countries position him to understand the global landscape, market conditions, and growth opportunities facing Booking.com.” “Booking.com is fortunate to bring on board a chief executive of Darren Huston’s caliber,” said Mr. Koolen. “His global familiarity and his online expertise blend extremely well with Booking.com’s corporate culture. Our hotel supplier partners and customers around the globe will benefit as he puts his expertise to work on their behalf. I look forward to working with Darren in his new role.” “The rapid and sustained growth of Booking.com has been incredible,” said Mr. Huston. “After meeting the team, I attribute this performance in large part to the superior caliber of Booking.com’s management and its highly dedicated employees in more than 50 offices around the world. Globally, there are significant opportunities for our business, both in core markets and in developing ones. I look forward to leveraging these opportunities with my new Booking.com and Priceline Group colleagues.”
Commenting on Mr. Koolen’s transition to Chairman of Booking.com, Mr. Boyd said, “Kees Koolen was a founder of Booking.com B.V. and has served as its Chief Executive Officer since September 2008. Under his leadership, Booking.com has grown to become the number-one hotel reservation service in the world and continues to add market share on a quarterly basis. His guiding of the business has benefitted thousands of hotel supplier partners, employees and investors around the world. We congratulate Kees on an outstanding job and are excited that we will continue to benefit from his guidance in his new role as Chairman.”
Booking.com is the world leader in booking hotel and other accommodations online. It guarantees the best prices for any type of property – from small independents to five-star luxury. Guests can access the Booking.com website anytime, anywhere from their desktops, mobile phones and tablet devices, and they don’t pay booking fees – ever. The Booking.com website is available in 42 languages, offers more than 525,000 hotels and accommodations in 205 countries, features 33+ million reviews written by guests after their stay, and attracts online visitors from both leisure and business markets around the globe. With over 17 years of experience and a team of over 8,000 dedicated employees in 135+ offices worldwide, Booking.com operates its own in-house customer service team, which is available 24/7 to assist guests in their native languages and ensure an exceptional customer experience.
Established in 1996, Booking.com B.V. owns and operates Booking.com™, and is part of The Priceline Group (NASDAQ: PCLN). Follow us on Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest, like us on Facebook, or learn more at http://www.booking.com.