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Priceline Names Its Own CEO

Priceline.com shares were on the rise again as the turn-around company replaced its CEO with its chairman, Richard S. Braddock, and reiterated that it expects to reach pro forma operating profitability in the second quarter.

The board of the Norwalk, CT-based name-your-own price e-commerce company replaced Daniel H. Schulman, priceline.com's prior president and chief executive officer.

Braddock, 59, who was priceline.com's CEO from July 1998 to May 2000, will continue to serve as chairman.

Chief Operating Officer Jeffery H. Boyd was named president of the company.

The market liked the news, sending the stock up 67 cents in early trading to $5.97.

Priceline saw its share price plunge to as little as $1.06 after it ran into problems last fall. At one time it had traded at more than $100 a share. Priceline has clearly been making progress, however; last week Goldman, Sachs upgraded the stock to market outperform.

"(Braddock) has been instrumental in building priceline.com and has helped define and guide the company's strategic direction through its turnaround efforts,'' said N. J. Nicholas Jr., a priceline.com director and former co-CEO of Time Warner Inc. "He spear-headed the recent transactions which strengthened the company's balance sheet, including the restructuring of the preferred stock and the equity investment by Hutchison-Whampoa and his broad business experience will be invaluable as priceline.com pursues growth and profitability."

Prior to joining priceline.com, Braddock was non-executive chairman of True North Communications Inc., CEO of Medco Containment Services and held a variety of positions at Citicorp.

"Given the added visibility of our results to date in April and early May, we remain confident that we will accomplish our guidance for revenue and achieve pro forma operating profitability in the second quarter 2001," Braddock said.

Priceline CFO Bob Mylod has said the company expects pro forma net income of 1 to 2 cents per share in the second quarter of this year and 2 to 3 cents per share in the third quarter.