Mike was part of the original Orbitz management team, as Chief Marketing Officer then Chief Operating Officer. He helped take the Orbitz business from start-up to IPO, then through two acquisitions (Cendant and Blackstone). Mike was responsible for growing the business from "dollar 1" in 2001 to over $8B in annual gross revenues in 2006.
Mike has deep marketing roots both online and offline:
As CMO and head of marketing from launch through IPO, Mike established Orbitz as a top-tier online travel agency and a globally recognized brand. He instituted an RObased approach to marketing that remains a cornerstone of the company’s growth.
- Created & deployed the marketing plan that launched Orbitz and rapidly grew the business to #3 in the market
- Established an in-house customer acquisition team creating one of the industry’s most proficient eMarketing operations
- Developed a one of a kind partnership with Google guaranteeing placement on all travel terms
- Created a new category of online advertising, the pop-under game, as an entertaining way to build the brand
Prior to joining Orbitz, Mike worked for General Motors Corporation as one of a select group of external marketers designated with improving the auto company's North American marketing efforts. His efforts at General Motors led Sands to being named a "Marketer of the Next Generation" by Brandweek magazine.
Mike also held positions at Leo Burnett, including responsibility for the United Airlines account where he helped launch UAL.com.
Mike holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications from Northwestern University and a Masters in Management degree from the J.L. Kellogg School of Management. He and his family live in Chicago.