Priceline Group Announces New Appointments

NORWALK, Conn.—The Priceline Group has announced that Paul J. Hennessy has been named chief executive officer of priceline.com, an operating business of The Priceline Group, effective April 1, 2015. Hennessy will report into Darren Huston, president & CEO of The Priceline Group. Current priceline.com CEO Chris Soder has been named chairman of the Norwalk, Connecticut-based business.

A veteran executive of The Priceline Group, Hennessy currently serves as chief marketing officer of booking.com, the Group’s global Amsterdam-based brand, where he oversees all global marketing efforts — online and offline — across the world. Prior to this, Hennessy served as chief distribution officer of priceline.com, where he managed online marketing, distribution, and advertising sales for the business.

Appointed CEO of priceline.com in 2011, Soder will transition into the role of chairman of priceline.com, where he will continue to work on building the company’s strategy alongside Hennessy. Soder joined priceline.com in 2000 and served as the brand’s president of North America prior to his appointment as CEO.

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“Chris has been instrumental in the success of the priceline.com brand, and his impact on the business over the years has been significant. His experience will be a great asset for Paul as Paul takes over day-to-day operations,” said Darren Huston, president & CEO of The Priceline Group. “Paul has tremendous expertise in driving growth and global consumer demand, most recently at booking.com, and his experience will help guide priceline.com in its next chapter as a leader in delivering the best online travel deals for consumers.”

“It was important to us to have someone who knows the business of online travel and the priceline.com culture, and having worked alongside Paul for many years, I know he will be a great leader for priceline.com,” said Soder. “It’s an exciting time for our industry and I look forward to staying involved in the priceline.com business as the company looks to find new ways to build on its strong position in the highly competitive North American online travel landscape.”

Additionally, Pepijn Rijvers has been appointed to the role of chief marketing officer of booking.com, effective April 1, 2015 in conjunction with Hennessy’s move to priceline.com. A member of the booking.com team since 2008, Rijvers has held positions in business development, content and most recently as the director of the hotels team overseeing an organization of 2,000+ employees. Under his leadership, booking.com has grown to over 600,000 accommodations partners worldwide. Rijvers will report into Gillian Tans, president & COO of booking.com.