Richard Barton, Founder and CEO of Expedia

Padding around in his socks, he's every travel agent's worst nightmare

At 35, Richard Barton is already a bit of a relic. The chief of online travel agency Expedia still pads around his Seattle-area headquarters in his socks and manages to hit the slopes almost every weekend, partying away like it's 1999. But that's O.K., because unlike so many now extinct dotcoms, Expedia is solidly profitable, netting $20 million last quarter as it doubled gross bookings from a year ago, to $1.47 billion--overshadowing the $915 million collected by chief rival, Travelocity. And as Expedia begins this month to offer its smorgasbord of services to the $180 billion U.S. business-travel market, Barton remains...

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