Orbitz Names New CEO, Prepares For More Cutbacks

Travel site Orbitz has named a new chief executive officer — and, at the same time, is preparing to slash as much as $25 million from its operating expenses.

Orbitz’s New CEO

Orbitz New CEO Barney HarfordFormer Expedia exec Barney Harford is taking over the reigns as Orbitz’s CEO. He succeeds Steve Barnhart, who stepped down with the official reason of “pursuing other interests.” Barnhart led the company through its initial process of going public. He will work with Harford in a transition period through April.

Harford is credited with developing Expedia’s travel business and helping expand its services into new areas of the world during his seven year tenure there.

Orbitz Cutbacks

As for the cutbacks, Orbitz is saying only that it will “take further measures to lower its operating costs” in light of the economic situation within the travel industry. Those measures will add up to savings of $20 million to $25 million a year for the company. The specifics are expected to be finalized within the next “several weeks.”

This new round of cutbacks is in addition to the layoffs announced this past November at Orbitz. The company eliminated about 10 percent of its workforce then — a move designed to save $20 million a year by itself.

Orbitz has around 1,500 people on its staff.


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