Technology

Booking Holdings CEO “feeling 100 per cent fine” after testing positive for COVID-19

Huntley Mitchell

Huntley Mitchell

Booking Holdings chief executive Glenn Fogel has urged the company’s staff to “be as careful as possible” and follow government regulations after testing positive for COVID-19.

In a video message to employees at the beginning of April, Fogel revealed he had contracted the deadly virus after suffering “a little bit of a fever” and “coughing a bit”.

However, Fogel said he is now “feeling 100 per cent fine” and, according to a Booking Holdings filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, has not shown any symptoms of the coronavirus since 28 March.

“Now, I know not everyone has been so fortunate to have such a short bit of symptoms and have come back so easily and so quickly, and I really do feel terrible for the people who are having a much harder time with this virus,” Fogel said.

“Everybody, please – you’ve got to be as careful as possible. Follow all the regulations, all the rules. Whatever your government is telling you to do, please follow that. It’s so important, not just for yourself, but for everybody else, too.”

Fogel also thanked his staff at Booking for their tireless efforts during what is a time of unprecedented uncertainty in the travel industry.

“I know it’s not easy working these kind[s] of hours, under this kind of stress, many times alone. I know it’s really, really hard,” he said.

“We need to stick together, everyone. Lean on each other – together we’re stronger.”

You can watch Fogel’s video message in full here.

Booking noted in its securities exchange filing that Fogel has continued to perform his responsibilities as CEO at all times since contracting COVID-19.

“The company maintains full succession plans for all senior executives, including temporary delegation of responsibilities to other leaders within the organisation if necessary for any reason,” the company added.

Speaking to Bloomberg earlier this month, Fogel said Booking.com has been dealing with as many as 400,000 customer enquiries a day as a result of tight travel restrictions implemented by governments to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s a hard thing, but we’re getting in through,” he said.

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