Priceline's CEO to Add Chairman's Role

Priceline.com Inc. (NASDAQ: PCLN) today announced that president and CEO Jeffery H. Boyd will assume the additional role of chairman of the company's board beginning January 1, 2013. The current chairman, Ralph M. Bahna, will retire as chairman on that date and will retire from the company's board in June 2013 when his current term expires.

The board also named James M. Guyette as Lead Independent Director today, and the company will add Thomas E. Rothman as a director on January 1st.

Priceline's press release noted:

The Board stated that it combined the roles of Chairman and CEO as an interim structure that best accomplished continuity of leadership in view of Mr. Bahna's upcoming retirement from the Board and its long-term succession planning. At the same time, the Board ensured the appropriate exercise of independent judgment by the Board through the appointment of a Lead Independent Director.

So Boyd's appointment as chairman/CEO is 'interim', as in 'temporary'? Because it achieved continuity of leadership and advanced the board's long-term succession planning? That's a very strange explanation for this appointment.

Priceline's shares are essentially flat in after-hours trading today after closing at $601.02 in a 52-week range of $438.76 to $774.96.

Paul Ausick

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