Yapta chief executive Tom Romary is leaving the online travel company that he co-founded in 2006 to take a new job in Silicon Valley as senior vice president of consumer services at Rearden Commerce. He’s being replaced on an interim basis by Ken Myer, a longtime Seattle technology executive who previously served as CEO of the Washington Technology Industry Association.
Yapta’s board is currently conducting a search for a long-term CEO.
“Tom has done a stellar job building Yapta into a business that has tremendous value to a wide spectrum of travel customers, from the individual leisure traveler to those who manage large corporate travel programs,” said venture capitalist Bill McAleer, a board member at Yapta. “It has been a pleasure to have worked with Tom over the last several years and I wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavor in California.”
Myer, the former CEO of Interval Systems and a former executive at Active Voice, will continue to serve as an Executive in Residence at the University of Washington Center for Commercialization.
“I’m very excited by this opportunity as Yapta has a strong management team, a stellar board, and is extremely well-positioned for future growth with its investors, including Voyager Capital, Concur, and First Round Capital,” Myer said in a statement.
Romary, a former Alaska Airlines and RealNetworks executive, launched the online travel service in May 2007. I vividly recall the launch since the company’s Pioneer Square headquarters building caught on fire that same day.
Earlier this year, Yapta raised $5 million from Concur Technologies, bringing total funding to $13.8 million. The company’s service allows users to track airfare fluctuations, and request a refund from the airlines if prices go up on previously purchased tickets.
Rearden Commerce — based in Foster City, California — is on a growth tear of its own. It raised $133 million in September at a $1.35 billion valuation. At the time, the 11-year-old e-commerce platform company also purchased the daily deals site HomeRun.com.