Truwit to Serve as an Advisory Member of Travelport’s Board of Directors
NEW YORK, September 11, 2006 — TDS Investor (Bermuda) Ltd., the parent company of the Travelport group of companies, a global leader in travel distribution services, today announced that Steve Barnhart, chief financial officer of its Orbitz Worldwide unit, has been appointed as president of Orbitz Worldwide, which includes Travelport’s online businesses such as Orbitz and Cheaptickets in the Americas, ebookers and Octopus Travel in Europe and HotelClub.com and RatesToGo.com in the Asia Pacific region. Barnhart will report to Travelport President and CEO, Jeff Clarke, and will continue to serve as CFO of Orbitz Worldwide.
Mitch Truwit, president and CEO of Orbitz Worldwide, has resigned to join Apax Partners, L.P., a leading global private equity (PE) firm. Truwit, 37, is expected to transition to his position as partner at the PE firm in New York City by mid-October. Further, Truwit will serve as an advisory member of Travelport’s board of directors.
Barnhart, 44, joined Orbitz, Inc. in May 2003, and was a key member of the finance team that took Orbitz public. Following the November 2004 acquisition of Orbitz by Cendant Corporation, he also was a key participant in the integration of Orbitz with the other Travelport online travel brands. Prior to joining Orbitz, Barnhart held various finance positions over a 13-year period with PepsiCo, its Pepsi-Cola and Frito-Lay subsidiaries, and the Pepsi Bottling Group (PBG), including Director of Finance for an operating unit with over $1 billion in revenue and 5,000 employees.
“In his expanded role, Steve Barnhart will continue to lead Orbitz Worldwide as we take our online businesses to even greater heights of growth and profitability,” Clarke said. “I am confident that Steve’s deep financial experience and extensive background in consumer marketing companies, combined with his strong management team, will ensure a successful future for Orbitz Worldwide.
“Mitch Truwit has led the transformation of Orbitz Worldwide into the fastest growing online travel agency in the United States. Under his leadership, Orbitz has revamped its entire marketing approach and moved to the number two industry position in consideration. Along with his marketing team, Mitch spearheaded the widely-recognized OrbitzTLC initiative, the leading customer care program in the industry. We all share in the pride over Orbitz’s achievements and support Mitch in his decision to relocate to the East Coast to be closer to his family and pursue his other career interests. We wish him much success at Apax Partners and look forward to his ongoing involvement at Travelport as an advisory member of the Company’s board of directors.”
“I am very proud of all that we have accomplished during the past 18 months,” Truwit said. We have delivered outstanding results, and Steve Barnhart has been a trusted partner throughout my tenure. He is a natural choice to lead the business going forward.”
“We have grown the EBITDA of our global online travel business by well over $100 million, become the second most profitable online travel agent, and are growing our gross bookings in North America over two times as quickly as our competitors,” Barnhart added. “I am very pleased to have the opportunity to lead the world-class management team at Orbitz and extend our success story in the months and years ahead.”
About Travelport Travelport is one of the world's largest and most geographically diverse travel companies. With a network of over 8,000 local travel professionals and customers working in more than 130 countries, Travelport delivers greater choice, more content and cost savings to travelers, travel professionals and travel suppliers every day. Travelport offers a wide range of business and consumer services, from distribution technology and travel packaging to retail sales and solutions. Travelport operates over 20 leading brands, including Orbitz, an online travel agency; Galileo, a global distribution system (GDS); and GTA, a wholesaler of global travel content.