Kayak.com announced today the appointment of Robert Birge as chief marketing officer. Birge will manage all offline marketing, advertising, and public relations activities, including the planned launch of a major offline advertising campaign. Birge will report to Kayak.com co-founder and CEO Steve Hafner and will be based at the company’s global headquarters in Norwalk, Connecticut.
“Kayak.com has a loyal following among savvy travelers and early-technology adopters. Yet many consumers aren’t aware that Kayak.com is the world’s best travel site,” said Hafner. “Robert brings a proven track record in brand development and strategic marketing initiatives. With a US$100 million combined marketing budget, we should be able to significantly increase Kayak.com’s profile.”
“This is a rare opportunity to take something that’s already amazing and make it more famous,” said Birge. “Kayak.com offers an ingenious service to help people simplify the complicated process of travel planning. I’m excited to help make Kayak.com a household name.”
Birge brings nearly 20 years of advertising, marketing, and brand-building experience across a range of categories including online travel, wireless, consumer goods, beverages, and financial services. He was most recently the CMO for IMG Worldwide, the world’s leading sports, entertainment, and media company. As the first CMO in IMG’s history, Birge was responsible for global brand management, advertising, and strategic marketing initiatives for all of IMG’s global business units.
Prior to joining IMG in 2006, he was managing director of TBWA/Chiat/Day, New York. Prior to that, he was a member of Boston Consulting Group’s consumer marketing and e-commerce practice, where he was part of the team that built and launched Orbitz. He was responsible for the initial branding and marketing planning during the first year of building Orbitz.
Birge earned his MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management and his AB at Dartmouth College.