AUSTIN, TX, June 2, 2009 - HomeAway, Inc., which operates the world's largest network of vacation rental websites, today announced the appointment of Petra Friedmann to the position of President of HomeAway Europe. A longtime veteran of the travel industry, Friedmann brings invaluable online consumer experience to her new role managing the company's European presence. She replaces Alexis de Belloy, who transitions to a similar position overseeing the HomeAway brands in the U.S.
"We're pleased to have a proven leader to oversee our rapidly growing European business," says Brian Sharples, CEO of HomeAway. "Her expertise in online consumer travel will benefit our operations throughout the world."
From Paris, Friedmann will manage teams based in the U.K., Germany and France and oversee the business operations of Europe's leading vacation rental sites, including Holiday-Rentals.co.uk, OwnersDirect.co.uk, FeWo-direkt.de, Abritel.fr and Homelidays.com.
She joins HomeAway from one of Europe's top online travel agencies, Opodo, where she most-recently served as chairman of the board of its French operations. During her seven-year tenure at Opodo, Friedmann managed the Pan-European sales and marketing efforts and oversaw the product strategy for the $1.3 billion business. Prior to Opodo, she was Managing Director of QXL, France, a leading online auction brand.
Friedmann began her career in Germany creating a travel agency specializing in discount flights and launching Mosaic Travel, a tour operator, before settling in France and joining Marmara, part of the TUI group in 1992. She earned her doctorate in Politics and Economy from The University of Bremen in Germany.