Priceline CEO Darren Huston Resigns

NORWALK, CT—Priceline Group CEO Darren Huston has resigned, effective immediately. The company has appointed former CEO and current chairman Jeffery H. Boyd as interim CEO and president of The Priceline Group while the board conducts a search to name a successor.

Boyd is a 16-year veteran of The Priceline Group, previously serving as president and CEO from 2002 to 2013, during which time he led the brand through a period of significant global expansion and growth in stockholder value, according to the company.

Priceline Group also revealed that current Booking.com President and COO Gillian Tans has been named CEO of Booking.com, a Priceline Group subsidiary, replacing Huston, who also served as CEO of this business unit. Tans has been a leader at the company since 2002, most recently serving as Booking.com’s president since January 2015 and COO since September 2011, responsible for leading the development and execution of Booking.com’s business strategy and directly overseeing all aspects of the brand’s operations.

Huston resigned following an investigation overseen by independent members of the board of directors of the facts and circumstances surrounding a personal relationship that Huston had with an employee who was not under his direct supervision. The investigation determined that Huston had acted contrary to the company’s code of conduct and had engaged in activities inconsistent with the board’s expectations for executive conduct, which Huston acknowledged and for which he expressed regret.

“I am satisfied with the board’s thorough review of this issue. The performance of the business under Darren has been strong, and the company is very well-positioned to continue executing on its strategy for growth. Jeff is deeply familiar with the company’s strategy and leadership team, which consists of highly accomplished entrepreneurs and seasoned professional executives with long tenure in the business. We are confident the company is in strong hands while we conduct a search for a new CEO,” said James M. Guyette, lead independent director, Priceline Group. An independent committee of the board of directors overseen by Guyette will work to identify CEO successor candidates.

“The culture of our brands and the quality of our leadership have been critical to the group’s success over the years. I commend Gillian on her promotion to CEO of Booking.com and I am confident she will do a great job leading the business. The outstanding leadership of our independent brands—Booking.com, Priceline.com, Kayak, Agoda, Rentalcars.com and OpenTable—have an excellent track record of executing on what I believe is a winning strategy. The board and I continue to see tremendous potential to build the group’s global platform and create value for our stockholders,” Boyd said.