Henrik Kjellberg has been appointed president of Expedia Asia Pacific, succeeding Barney Harford, who has held the role since 2004. The carefully planned transition provides for Harford’s continued involvement with Expedia(R) Asia Pacific activities as a director of eLong, Inc. (Nasdaq: LONG), in which Expedia(R) holds a controlling 52 percent interest. Expedia today also announced the establishment of its new Asia Pacific regional headquarters in Hong Kong.
“With Expedia’s launches into the three largest markets in the Asia Pacific region successfully accomplished, and after almost eight years with Expedia, I feel it is the right time for me to pursue a long held dream—to spend a year exploring the world’s greatest ski and surf locations,” said Barney Harford. “Having worked alongside Henrik for over five years, I am confident he will do a fantastic job developing and expanding Expedia’s businesses in the region.”
“Barney has played many critical roles at Expedia and has been instrumental in our success. We’re sad to see him go, but we look forward to his continued contributions on the eLong board and to following his upcoming travels around the world over the coming year,” said Dara Khosrowshahi, president and CEO of Expedia, Inc. “Henrik has played a major role in building Expedia’s European business over the last five years, and with his track record of spirited leadership and extensive international experience, he is the natural choice to lead the next stage of Expedia’s Asia Pacific expansion.”
Kjellberg will relocate to Hong Kong to establish the Expedia regional headquarters, the latest in a series of developments that mark Expedia’s focus on the rapidly growing Asia Pacific markets. Expedia last week announced the launch of its new Japanese Web site, Expedia.co.jp ( http://www.expedia.co.jp ). In December 2005, Expedia launched its Australian Web site, Expedia.com.au(TM) ( http://www.expedia.com.au ). In July 2004, Expedia announced its initial investment in eLong(TM) ( http://www.eLong.com ), the second largest online travel company in China. Japan represents the second largest travel market in the world, while China is expected to represent the third largest travel market in the world by 2016, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC). Japan, China and Australia represent the three largest travel markets in the Asia Pacific region.
Kjellberg joined Expedia in June 2001 and led the launch of Expedia in Holland and Italy and the European roll out of WWTE(R), Expedia’s private label business. In October 2002, he assumed responsibility for the Expedia(R) Europe lodging team and led the development of the merchant car and destination services businesses in Europe. In January 2006, Kjellberg was promoted to senior vice president of international lodging and destination services within Expedia(R) Partner Services Group. Prior to joining Expedia, Kjellberg worked for Procter & Gamble and Spray, a Scandinavian Internet portal. Kjellberg holds a master of science in economics from the Stockholm School of Economics. Kjellberg has been a member of the eLong board of directors since October 2005.
Harford joined Expedia in March 1999. He served in various roles as product planner, director of investor relations, and director of strategic planning and corporate development before becoming vice president of new channel development in 2002. In 2003, he was named senior vice president of air, car and private label and became president of Expedia(R) Asia Pacific in July 2004. Prior to joining Expedia, Harford worked as a strategy consultant for The Kalchas Group. He holds an MBA from INSEAD and a master of arts in natural sciences from Clare College, Cambridge University.