- CompanyThe Priceline Group
Huston has been at the Priceline Group since only 2014, but the CEO is making big moves and they’re already paying off: The company sold $50 billion worth of travel in 2014 and posted an 11% increase in profits in its most recent quarter. Huston shapes the company in two ways: First, his experience in digital at Microsoft and consumer services at Starbucks have made him a meticulous, hands-on operator. One of the Priceline Group’s units, Booking.com, employs A/B testing on every aspect of an app, website, and advertisement. In fact, the CEO says there isn’t a “semicolon on any of [their] sites that isn’t A/B tested.” Consequently, the Priceline Group’s mobile apps are ranked as some of the best travel offerings around. Second, Huston’s made some promising acquisitions in his short reign. Last year, he bought restaurant-reservation site OpenTable. He has also made smaller, strategic investments, acquiring Hotel Ninjas and Buuteeq, firms that provide management software and digital marketing services to hotels. Those units will expand the company’s back-office technology and provide software to optimize the company’s dealings with 600,000-plus lodging operations.