Founder, Priceline and CEO, Upside
Jay Walker is the founder and CEO of Upside, a new business travel service on Web and mobile that saves companies 5-20% on the cost of business trips. Upside achieves these economies by offering travelers additional rewards as incentives to make money-saving choices on airline brands, hotel brands, and other considerations that do not impact the business requirements of their trip. Upside’s rewards come in the form of high-value gift cards, typically worth hundreds of dollars to the traveler’s favorite retail stores.
Mr. Walker is best known as the founder of Priceline, which brought a new level of value to the travel industry. Today, Priceline is a highly profitable public company with millions of active customers and a market cap of $60B. The business processes that guide Priceline’s success were created in the invention lab of Walker Digital.
A Patron of the world-famous TED organization, Mr. Walker is the Curator and Chairman of TEDMED, the health and medicine edition of TED, whose online talks have been watched more than one billion times.
Mr. Walker serves as the Executive Chairman of Walker Innovation. This public company owns and seeks to commercialize, license and enforce the unique portfolio of intellectual property developed by Mr. Walker, who is the world’s 11th most patented living inventor and a named inventor on more than 650 U.S. patents. His inventions provide unique business systems and solutions across a dozen different industries.
A serial entrepreneur, Mr. Walker has founded three companies that each serve more than 50 million customers. He co-founded Synapse Group, a company that used the credit card processing network to revolutionize the magazine subscription business, serving as its marketing leader and creating a customer database of 25 million active buyers. For his work, he won the Direct Marketer of the Year award in 1999. Synapse is now a unit of Time Warner.
He has twice been named by the editors of TIME magazine as one of the “50 most influential business leaders in the digital age.” BusinessWeek selected him as one of its 25 Internet pioneers most responsible for “changing the competitive landscape of almost every industry in the world.”
Passionate about innovative solutions to the world’s problems, Mr. Walker is an active member of several organizations that promote social, medical and scientific progress. Among them:
The Atlantic Council (board member). This organization fosters constructive U.S. leadership and engagement in international affairs based on the central role of the Atlantic community in meeting the international challenges of the 21st century.
The President’s Circle of the National Academies, and the National Academies Board on Science, Technology and Economic Policy. The Board promotes the creation, diffusion, and application of new scientific and technical knowledge to enhance the productivity and competitiveness of the U.S. economy and foster economic prosperity for all Americans.
The National Academy of Inventors. Mr. Walker has been elected to the Fellows Program, which acknowledges a highly prolific spirit of invention with an emphasis on inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development, and the welfare of society.
Mr. Walker and his wife Eileen live in Connecticut. Eileen is currently a Trustee of Cornell University and serves on the Board of Directors of eCornell, Cornell’s distance learning subsidiary. Currently the chair of The Harvey School, she held an executive position in Human Resources with IBM for 18 years. Jay and Eileen have two grown children, Lindsey and Evan, and a daughter-in-law, Jackie.