The 37-year-old Mr. Harford succeeds Steve Barnhart, who resigned Tuesday and will stay on as an adviser until April.

Orbitz's new chief executive worked for competitor and market leader Expedia Inc. from 1999 to 2006, where from 2004 to 2006 he was president of Expedia Asia Pacific. For the past two years he has advised and served on the board of Internet travel companies including Kayak.com and eLong, Expedia's Chinese travel booking Web site.

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