Priceline Group picks Microsoft exec to head Booking.com

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The Priceline Group named ex-Microsoft Corp. consumer marketing and ad sales executive Darren Huston CEO of hotel reservation site Booking.com, the company said on Sept. 26.

Priceline Group spokesperson Brian Ek said via email that the hire is effective immediately but referred request for comment to a company statement. A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed via email that Huston had left the company.

Booking.com's outgoing CEO Kees Koolen will become the site's chairman.

“Darren Huston has extensive knowledge of two landscapes that are very important to the continued success of Booking.com," Jeffery Boyd, president and CEO of Priceline, said in a statement. "He is extremely familiar with the online marketing landscape and the strategies that work in different markets around the world. And his leadership of business activities in Japan and 40 other countries position him to understand the global landscape, market conditions, and growth opportunities facing Booking.com.”

As corporate VP of Microsoft's consumer and online division, Huston oversaw global consumer marketing and ad sales. In April, Microsoft gave control of global ad sales to Frank Holland.

Also in April, the company appointed Chris Capossela its head marketer after outgoing SVP of Microsoft's central marketing group Mich Mathews announced in March that she was leaving the company.

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