Expedia today (1st July, 2015) named engineering leader Aman Bhutani as the new president of its flagship Expedia brand and related businesses, taking over a job that Expedia Inc. CEO Dara Khosrowshahi had been handling as an extra role for more than three years as part of the turnaround of the online travel giant.
Bhutani is a five-year Expedia veteran who has made his mark as senior vice president of worldwide engineering, establishing a data-driven, “test and learn” culture in the company’s global tech team, which has grown to 2,000 people across 10 offices. Bhutani has also been a key player in Expedia’s acquisition spree, overseeing the integration of companies such as Wotif and Travelocity.
Expedia, based in Bellevue, Wash., is announcing the news of Bhutani’s new role internally to employees this morning.
Khosrowshahi said an interview with GeekWire that Expedia.com’s rebound led him to re-establish the position of Expedia president as a standalone role, allowing him to focus on leading the broader company. The CEO’s job is only getting bigger, with Expedia’s pending $1.6 billion acquisition of Orbitz on the horizon, and a closely watched headquarters move in the works.
“Whenever you make a leadership change, you want to make it from a position of strength,” Khosrowshahi said. “Aman has been in the business for five years now. He has been a really effective technology and general leader, and he really has respect across the company. … We think it’s the right time, and he’s the right guy.”
Bhutani will become the president of what’s known internally as the Brand Expedia Group, which includes Expedia.com, Travelocity, Wotif, and Expedia’s joint venture with AirAsia, in addition to supporting product development, technology and media for all groups across the company.
He will be dealing with a dynamic competitive landscape in the new role. Following the latest wave of industry consolidation, Expedia and Priceline Group have emerged as the major players in online travel, but larger tech companies including Amazon and Google are increasingly moving into the travel business themselves.
“Our competition is really outside these four walls, and the more we grow, the harder it is to keep this entire organization, and all the different sophisticated functions, focused on competing externally,” Bhutani said when asked about his biggest challenges in the new role. “Travel is a $1.3 trillion industry. Everyone in e-commerce wants a piece of that pie.”
Culled from Geekwire.Com