Orbitz Worldwide Inc today announced 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 Harford
“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 $20- 25 million annually, in addition to the $20 million of annual cost reductions announced in November 2008.