President & CEO
One of the reasons TripAdvisor President and CEO Steve Kaufer is so influential is that the company has acquired nearly 30 startups since 2006, shuttering some and growing others. Kaufer runs TripAdvisor as if it didn’t boast 2,000 employees and nearly $1 billion in annual revenue. TripAdvisor constantly streamlines its processes, most recently improving the area of metasearch, making it easier to compare prices offered by travel sites and hotels. And while Kaufer recognizes mobile platforms’ benefits for branding and generating extra traffic, he also admits, “When I’m actually planning a holiday this tiny screen is a very unhappy experience for me; so I’m either on my tablet or my desktop, browsing, researching and booking.” Kaufer is determined to improve user experience for independent hotel and B&B owners with “TripConnect,” a feature that allows them to bid for traffic on TripAdvisor and compete against larger chains and online travel agents.
Kaufer founded TripAdvisor in 2000, and has remained at its helm through its association with Expedia from 2004-11, and now as an independent public company. He previously worked for various software companies and holds several software patents.