Thursday, March 10, 2005

Meeting travelocity CEO

Yesterday I met with Travelocity's CEO, Michelle Peluso, and I was impressed. Travelocity is our sister company, so our manager got her to give us a "pep talk". Before I went, I thought it'd be another one of those boring, long-winded management speeches. It turned out to be anything but. She was honest, articulate and to the point. She talked about how when she first joined Travelocity we'd fallen far behind Expedia and not growing at all, and Orbitz was catching up fast. In the three years she's been here, Travelocity has turned around, they revamped everything, and now it's growing at a much faster clip than the competitors. She's really accomplished a lot, considering she's in her early 30's, and a female in a male-dominant conservative industry. But more than the financial numbers, more than the corporate culture she's built, the work hard and have fun attitude, it's the fact that she genuinely cares about each and every employee that's really precious in today's corporate environment.

From a technology point of view, the battle between Travelocity and Expedia is sort of like java vs. Microsoft. Travelocity was the innovator that started the whole online travel business, but had since fallen behind, and now is surging ahead with newfound vigor. Of course the Travelocity platform is built on top of java while Expedia is no doubt a Microsoft shop (Orbitz got some former LISP guys doing something weird :). If you are a good java/web guy living around the DFW Metroplex, Travelocity is the place to be.


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