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Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi

Fifteen years ago, Expedia took flight under the wings of Microsoft as a maker of CD-ROM travel guides. Today, it is a giant of online travel, with more than 2,000 employees in Bellevue and a market value of $7.7 billion.

Expedia celebrated 15 years in business last week with presentations by CEO Dara Khosrowshahi and Chairman Barry Diller. We’re told an Expedia flash mob with 150 employees also appeared on stage at Meydenbauer Center during the festivities.

“ is truly a company of visionaries,” said Khosrowshahi. “The launch of the company 15 years ago has fundamentally changed the way that people around the world dream about, plan, and book travel and share their travel experiences.”

Rich Barton

We’ll have more time to talk about the Expedia legacy in Seattle on Thursday at the GeekWire Meetup, featuring Expedia founder and former CEO Rich Barton.

Started as a division of Microsoft in 1996, Expedia has morphed and changed multiple times over the past 15 years. It is now gearing up for its latest incarnation, spinning off the TripAdvisor review site which boasts some 50 million monthly visitors. (Expected to be completed by the end of the year).

In case you missed it, Expedia also was the subject of our Name That Tech Tune contest earlier this month on GeekWire.

The original Expedia logo

While Expedia has been around for a long time, it often gets overshadowed in Seattle. (Perhaps because of its long-line of corporate parents, or due to’s rapid growth).

Nonetheless, Expedia certainly has to go down as one of Microsoft’s must successful spin-offs.

And here’s a look at that Expedia flash mob, which we’re told also include participation from CEO Khosrowshahi.

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