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Steve Barnhart (born in 1961 in Iowa) was president of Orbitz Worldwide (NYSE:OWW), from September 2006 to January 2009. With 20 years experience in finance and consumer brands, Barnhart led the Orbitz Worldwide global portfolio of online travel brands, including Orbitz, CheapTickets and the Away Network in the Americas, ebookers in Europe, and HotelClub.com and RatesToGo.com in Asia Pacific.
As CEO, Barnhart launched initiatives to integrate Orbitz Worldwide’s technology platforms, provide new services for “unmanaged” travelers and reach out to eco-tourists and other environmentally focused travelers. He also largely directed the partial spin-off of Orbitz Worldwide in an initial public offering on July 20, 2007, which Orbitz's then-parent company, Travelport, announced in March 2007.
Barnhart joined Orbitz in May 2003 and was a member of the team that took the original Orbitz, Inc. public in December 2003. Following Cendant Corporation’s acquisition of Orbitz in 2004, he led the finance integration with Cendant’s other online travel brands as chief financial officer of the consumer travel unit within Cendant Travel Distribution Services. He was named President and CFO of Orbitz Worldwide in September 2006, shortly following Travelport’s acquisition by The Blackstone Group in a private equity transaction. He was promoted to CEO and President of the business unit in April 2007, and served as a Director after the IPO. He resigned from hisrole as CEO and President, and stepped down from the Board of Directors, in January 2009, although he remained as an adviser through April.
Barnhart earned both a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s of business administration in finance from the University of Chicago. of is a board member for the Illinois Technology Association, a member of the Visiting Committee for the College of the University of Chicago, and a member of the Mayor's Council of Technology Advisors.
Prior to joining Orbitz, Barnhart held various finance positions over a 13-year period with PepsiCo and its Pepsi-Cola and Frito-Lay subsidiaries and affiliated companies. In his final role, he was director of finance for a division of the Pepsi Bottling Group with over $1 billion in revenue and 5,000 employees.
Prior to PepsiCo, Barnhart was an economic analyst in New Jersey for the Brussels-based Polyurethanes division of ICI, and worked in commercial lending for The American National Bank of Chicago.
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