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CEO of Online Travel Company To Speak at Tippie College of Business

Erik Blachford, president and CEO of IAC Travel, will discuss the past, present, and future of Expedia as an online travel company, including its financial success, innovation in technology, and corporate culture. The speech will be at the University of Iowa Tippie College of Business Monday, Oct. 27, as part of the Knapp Lecture Speaker Series. It is scheduled for 6 p.m. in Room S401 in the Pappajohn Business Building.

Blachford oversees IAC Travel's portfolio of companies. IAC Travel consists of the following IAC businesses: Expedia.com, Expedia Corporate Travel, Classic Custom Vacations, Newtrade Technologies, Expedia's international brands, and Expedia's private label offering World Wide Travel Exchange (WWTE); Hotels.com and its affiliated brands including Travelnow.com; Interval International; and TV Travel Shop. Hotwire will join the IAC Travel division upon the closing of its acquisition in the fourth quarter of 2003.

Blachford joined Expedia in 1995 as senior vice president, marketing and programming, and led the creation of the Expedia brand. He helped transform Expedia.com from a new venture to one of the top travel retailers in the world.

In 2002, he was named president of Expedia North America, a position in which he managed the sales, marketing, product development, and strategic planning functions for the company's U.S. operations. He was named President and CEO of Expedia, Inc. in 2003--a position he currently maintains.

Prior to joining Expedia, Blachford served as general manager at Kroll Travel Watch, the travel information services division of Kroll. Previous to that, he led bike tours through France for Butterfield and Robinson, a high-end luxury active tour provider.

Blachford is a board member of Netstock Corporation, the parent company of ShareBuilder Securities Corporation, the nation's growth leader in dollar-based online investing for mainstream consumers. He also sits on the board for Points.com, the only independent loyalty points exchange for consumers.

Blachford holds a bachelor of arts from Princeton University and a master of business administration from Columbia Business School.


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