40 Under 40 2018 | Leslie Cafferty

It takes a strong professional to redefine the role of PR in an organization. As SVP of global communications at Booking Holdings, Leslie Cafferty provides strategic counsel and rationale that is not only highly valued by the company’s most senior executives and board members, but also serves as the foundation for key business decisions.

Cafferty leads comms for an $80 billion publicly traded company – one of the largest global ecommerce companies – and its largest brand, booking.com. She also provides strategic support and coordinates corporate and brand comms for Kayak, OpenTable, rentalcars.com, priceline.com, and agoda.com.

A pro whose "counsel is always on point," Cafferty has inspired and led her teams to test and scale in new innovation streams and potential demand channels, redefined and optimized PR measurement, and driven multiple PR breakthrough moments in major markets from the U.S. to China.

She overhauled The Priceline Group’s corporate communications strategy to elevate perception of the company from a travel company to a global digital e-commerce internet innovator and drove communications strategy for multiple multimillion- and billion-dollar acquisitions, including Kayak and OpenTable. Cafferty successfully navigated two corporate name changes, including the 2018 corporate entity rebrand.

She’s also adept at crisis management and has handled dozens of sticky situations. When the CEO of one of the company’s major brands resigned under unfortunate circumstances, Cafferty swooped in to minimize coverage and maintain a positive image for the company.

For booking.com, Cafferty spearheaded a new thought leadership platform, including initiating involvement in the World Economic Forum partnership and teaming up with numerous Women in Technology initiatives, that drove 450 global press hits over the past year and elevated global awareness for the company.

- At Nielsen, as its former VP of communications and marketing, Cafferty developed the global PR strategy for the company’s fast-growing digital division.

- She pioneered new comms measurement frameworks to drive dramatic scale and efficiency tied to investment and innovation-led experimentation with new, emerging communication channels and tactics.

- Cafferty works with Pitch Your Peers, a charitable organization that engages women in philanthropy and collectively funds grants to charitable initiatives.

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