Rich Barton

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Richard Barton
BornJune 2, 1967 (1967-06-02) (age 53)
OccupationCEO of Zillow Group
Known forFounder of Expedia, Founder of Zillow, Founder of Glassdoor
Net worthUS $400 million[1]

Richard Barton (born June 2, 1967) is an American internet entrepreneur and the chief executive officer of Zillow Group. Barton founded online travel company (and Microsoft spinoff) Expedia, Inc., real-estate internet company Zillow, and job search engine and career community Glassdoor. He also founded the online travel photography sharing site Trover, which was acquired by Expedia in 2016.[2] Barton was also a venture partner at Benchmark,[3] and is on the board of directors for Netflix, Avvo, Nextdoor,[4] and Artsy.

In 2003, he was named as one of the top 10 innovators under 35 by MIT Technology Review.[5] In April 2012, he was named to Barack Obama's Presidential Ambassadors for Continental Entrepreneurship.[6]

Early life[edit]

Barton, raised in New Canaan, Connecticut, is the son of a teacher and mechanical engineer. He graduated from Stanford University in 1989 with a degree in engineering. He first worked for Alliance Consulting Group, and in 1991, began working for Microsoft.[7]

Barton's forefathers, John Barton and his son Horace, were inducted into the 1999 South Dakota Tennis Hall of Fame.[8][9]


Many of Barton's companies add transparency to their industries and provide people with data and information. Expedia gives people more information on travel, Zillow gives people more information on real estate, and Glassdoor gives people more information on salaries and company ratings. Barton refers to his business philosophy as "power to the people."[1]

Barton founded Expedia within Microsoft in 1994.[10] In 1994, Microsoft was planning to build a travel guidebook on a CD-ROM. Barton, who was familiar with text-based internet services of the time, had come across an online service designed for travel agents working from home. He felt this would be a larger opportunity for the company, and pitched the idea of an online travel booking service to Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer, and Nathan Myhrvold.[3] Gates, Balmer, and Myhrvold gave Barton permission to move forward with the project, which officially shipped to the web as Expedia in 1996. Barton served as CEO through Expedia's IPO in 1999, and stayed in the position until 2003, after the company was acquired for $3.6 billion.[11]

After a year-long leave of absence from the business community, Barton returned to Seattle in 2004, and started working toward the launch of Zillow with Lloyd Frink, another Expedia and Microsoft alumnus. Barton and Frink did not reveal much about the company prior to its launch.[12]

In February 2020, Barton became a billionaire according to Forbes,[13] after reporting strong earnings at Zillow.[14]


  1. ^ a b Wingfield, Nick (April 13, 2014). "The Art of 'Something From Nothing'". The New York Times. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
  2. ^ Nickelsburg, Monica (July 20, 2016). "Acquisition-hungry Expedia gobbles up Rich Barton's travel photography startup Trover". GeekWire. Retrieved August 9, 2019.
  3. ^ a b Schaal, Dennis. "The Definitive Oral History of Online Travel". Skift. Retrieved August 9, 2019.
  4. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^ "Innovator Under 35: Richard Barton, 34". MIT Technology Review Magazine. MIT Technology Review, Cambridge, MA. 2002. Retrieved January 5, 2013.
  6. ^ Pritzker, Penny (April 10, 2014). "Announcing President Obama's New Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship". The White House. Retrieved August 9, 2019.
  7. ^ Eng, Dinah (January 14, 2013). "The King of Travel and Real Estate". Fortune. 167 (1): 21–24.
  8. ^ "John and Horace Barton Bio". South Dakota Tennis Hall of Fame. Retrieved October 29, 2017.
  9. ^ Harger, Jim (October 21, 2013). "The man behind Expedia, Zillow and GlassDoor connects with his West Michigan roots". MLive. Retrieved October 29, 2017.
  10. ^ Lerman, Rachel (February 7, 2016). "A talk with Zillow's co-founder and CEO on its 10th year". The Seattle Times. Retrieved October 29, 2017.
  11. ^ Copeland, Michael V. (June 10, 2013). "The Man Who Escaped Microsoft and Took a Whole Company With Him". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved April 15, 2020.
  12. ^ Cook, John (November 29, 2004). "Former Expedia top exec is back". The Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved August 9, 2019.
  13. ^ Sharf, Samantha (February 20, 2020). "Zillow Founder Rich Barton Is A Billionaire One Year After Taking Back The Company". Forbes. Retrieved April 15, 2020.
  14. ^ Rogers, Taylor Nicole (February 27, 2020). "Zillow CEO Rich Barton reportedly just became a billionaire. Meet the serial entrepreneur who also founded Expedia and Glassdoor". Business Insider. Retrieved April 15, 2020.