Meet the HomeAway team

The HomeAway Story
 

Brian Sharples, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer

 

Brian SharplesBrian Sharples co-founded HomeAway with Carl Shepherd in February 2005. Since then, he has raised nearly $405 million in private funding and acquired 17 websites, to create the world's leading online marketplace of holiday rentals.

Brian is the former president and chief executive officer of IntelliQuest Information Group, a supplier of marketing data and research to Fortune 500 technology companies.  While there, he pioneered the development of subscription-based statistical research services and electronic survey systems.  He also completed two successful public offerings and the subsequent sale of Intelliquest.

An expert in technology brand strategy, Brian has counseled several leading companies, including Apple, Microsoft and Dell.  He also created the IntelliQuest Brand Tech Forum Conference, which became an industry-leading symposium, and served as a consultant at Bain & Company early in his career.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in maths and economics from Colby College and a master’s degree from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Brian's favourite thing about working for HomeAway: 
"The people who work at HomeAway are amazing and inspiring. We’ve been successful in attracting people who are passionate about our business, and seek to always make the experience better for our customers. There is no shortage of good ideas to make our service better for both owners and travellers, and as a result we continually challenge each other to push our limits and get better. That makes for a dynamic culture and a very rewarding work life."

 

Tom Hale, Chief Operating Officer

Tom Hale

Tom Hale serves as Chief Operating Officer, overseeing all aspects of the product experience on a global basis, including engineering, product management, product marketing and customer experience. Known for his passion for product development and enhancing the user experience, Hale is also an avid traveler and owns a vacation rental.

Hale has nearly 20 years experience in product development. Prior to HomeAway, he was the Chief Product Officer at Linden Lab from 2008 to 2010, where he led the renovation of all aspects of the Second Life experience.

Before Linden Lab, Hale was an entrepreneur-in-residence at Redpoint Ventures (a capital investor in HomeAway) focused on social networking and virtual goods marketplaces.

From 1995 to 2007, Hale held a variety of senior leadership roles at Macromedia and Adobe Systems Incorporated. At Adobe, he headed the Adobe Acrobat business and drove the redesign of the Acrobat user experience. At Macromedia (acquired by Adobe in 2005), Hale played key roles in making Macromedia the standard for web development, evolving the Flash Player into a platform for video, mobile content, and rich internet applications (RIAs), and starting up the company’s knowledge worker division.

Currently, Hale is an independent director for Intralinks (NASDAQ:IL) and serves on the Board of Directors for ReachLocal.


Tom's favorite holiday rental memory
"Our first holiday rental was with my entire extended family in Rhode Island. It was the first time we’d all been together with everyone’s kids and we cooked a giant meal. With kids on laps, food on the table, and everyone having a great time – it was the ideal travel experience for me. It is what makes working at HomeAway very rewarding."

 

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