LEWISBURG, Pa. — Doug Lebda '92, an accomplished entrepreneur who is chairman and CEO of Tree.com and a former chief operating officer of InterActiveCorp (IAC) and a Bucknell University alumnus, will give the talk, "Lead or Fail: The New Challenges of a New Economy," this fall in the ongoing Bucknell Forum series, "Global Leadership: Questions for the 21st Century."
Lebda will speak at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 10, in Trout Auditorium. The talk, which is free and open to the public, will be followed by a question-and-answer session.
Lebda, who graduated from Bucknell in 1992 with a degree in business administration, has been recognized for his successful business pursuits, including founding LendingTree.com, with a number of awards, including the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, the Council for Entrepreneurial Development's Trailblazer, and the Inman Innovator of the Year.
While working at Price Waterhouse Coopers in Pittsburgh, Lebda came up with the idea for LendingTree, his first company, after becoming frustrated with the process of searching for a lender with the best loan terms. While attending graduate business school at the University of Virginia, he subsequently developed the business plan that ultimately became LendingTree.
The LendingTree concept was so strong, Lebda decided to leave business school and pursue the idea full-time with his wife, Tara Garrity Lebda, Bucknell Class of '94.
"Doug's experience as an alumnus developing and implementing a vision, as well as building and leading high-profile companies, in favorable and challenging economic times, should be of particular interest in this economy, especially to our students who are poised to build their own careers," said Bill Gruver, member of the Bucknell Forum task force and Distinguished Clinical Professor of Management and Executive-in-Residence.
After launching LendingTree nationally in 1998, Lebda oversaw the company as it went public in 2000, took on five acquisitions, expanded into consumer real estate and grew to producing more than $300 million in revenue.
In 2003, LendingTree was acquired by IAC, a $6.3 billion interactive conglomerate that encompasses Ask.com, Ticketmaster, HSN, Match.com, Citysearch, Evite and about 60 other brands. Lebda was named IAC's President and COO in 2005, overseeing all of the company's businesses and 20,000 employees.
In 2008, Lebda became chairman and CEO of Tree.com, the parent company of LendingTree and RealEstate.com.
Lebda, who lives in Charlotte, N.C., with his family, serves on the board of directors of Eastman Kodak Company and RecycleBank.
At Bucknell, Lebda was a member of the Delta Upsilon fraternity and the crew team. He has served on a number of Bucknell-related boards, including the Alumni Association Board of Directors.
Visit the Bucknell Forum website for more details about Lebda's talk and other speakers in the series, "Global Leadership: Questions for the 21st Century," which runs through spring 2010.
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