- The 41-year-old till recently was president of the travel website Hotwire, becoming the youngest and first female to lead the travel website.
Neha Parikh, a veteran of the online hospitality brand Expedia, has been appointed the new CEO of Waze, a crowd-sourced navigation app. Parikh, 41, most recently served as the president of the travel website Hotwire, becoming the youngest and first female to lead the travel website.
A month before she took over the new role in Waze, Parikh shared a post on her social media handles, announcing that she would be joining the company in a month. “Beyond thrilled to announce that I’ll be joining Waze next month as CEO,” she wrote. “Anyone who knows me well knows that I am a (vocal!) Waze superfan both because it 100% helps me outsmart traffic but also because, at its core, Waze is about people helping other people.”
Almost a month later, on her first day at Waze, she tweeted: “When I told my mom about my new @waze role she said she was proud and then, in a whispered tone added, “…but I’m not sure what you’re going to do there because Waze already does everything” Hah! Thrilled to figure that out since today is my first day as CEO of @waze!
“As Neha leads Waze into the future, she will remain hyper-focused on our passionate community, beloved brand, and best-in-class products,” said a spokesperson of the company.
Parikh started her career in 2000 as a Management Consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers, as per her LinkedIn page. After getting her MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, she joined Expedia, where she served in a variety of positions at two of the corporation’s subsidiaries: Hotels.com and Hotwire. She is also a board member of the online used car retailer Carvana and Tailwind Acquisition Corp.
In a press release announcing Parikh’s appointment to the board of Carvana in April 2019, Parikh said: “On my first visit to the Carvana offices, I took a picture of their prominently displayed values, one of which is ‘Your next customer may be your mom,’ which I love. Relentless customer focus has been central to my career, so I’m thrilled to align with a company that puts their customers first.”
Waze was founded in Israel in 2008 by Ehud Shabtai, Amir Shinar, and Uri Levine. The crowdsourced navigation app quickly grew in popularity, praised for its ability to take into account traffic and construction in real-time. Currently, it has 140 million monthly active users who drive more than 24 billion miles (40 billion kilometers) every month. The company was acquired by Google in 2013 for a reported $1.1 billion. And the app continued to flourish, as Google refrained from absorbing it into its Maps division and allowed it to stay independent.