Ex-Yahoo! chief takes Expedia Euro role

Patrik Oqvist, former European marketing director for search at Yahoo!, has joined rapidly expanding online travel company Hotels.com as marketing director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Before joining Yahoo! in October 2003, he was head of marketing at Air Miles.

Hotels.com is part of Expedia, which claims to be the world’s largest online travel group. Expedia used to be the online travel division of US internet conglomerate IAC/InterActiveCorp, but was spun off a month ago and now has a separate stock market listing on Nasdaq.

The spin-off was intended to position Expedia as a pure travel company, separate from IAC’s other e-commerce, television and media brands.

IAC – controlled by US media mogul Barry Diller, the former head of Paramount Pictures – owns brands including Home Shopping Network, entertainment booking site Ticketmaster and online dating agency Match.com, which recently launched its first UK television advertising campaign (MW September 1).

IAC also owns search company Ask Jeeves, purchased for $1.85bn (&£1bn) in March.

At the beginning of August, Expedia reported a 51 per cent improvement in second-quarter profits, up from $48.5m (&£26.6m) a year ago to $73.4m (&£40.3m). Revenue was 14 per cent ahead at $555m (&£304.6m), and Expedia said bookings for the second quarter for all of its brands were up by 26 per cent to $4.14bn (&£2.3bn).

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