Magazine article Management Today

Brain Food: David Soskin - Cheapflights, Chief Executive of the Internet Travel Site

Magazine article Management Today

Brain Food: David Soskin - Cheapflights, Chief Executive of the Internet Travel Site

Article excerpt

MY BEST ...

Leaving my job in investment banking to take the helm of Cheapflights was my best decision. I'd been working at ABN Amro in mergers and acquisitions. The life of an investment banker can be quite compelling, yet when I went to my Harvard Business School reunion in 1999, all the talk was of the internet, and some of the alumni were doing very clever things, such as Meg Whitman at eBay. I was intrigued. Yet most of the business plans I saw for dot.coms were just awful and entailed heavy losses in the early years.

Cheapflights was so different from the other dot.coms I'd looked at. It had a robust financial model, it had been profitable since day one, and it had strong relationships with key travel industry players. Together with some other private investors, I bought the company and took over as CEO in 2000. Company sales have since increased 12-fold, and we have 900 advertisers on site, compared with 70 when I started. We paid a fair price for the business, but it's now worth far more.

MY WORST . …

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