019 | Technology Innovation, Big Data Analytics and Cyber Security with Fortune 500 CIO Les Ottolenghi


Les brings 30+ years of experience as a Fortune 200 IT executive, an entrepreneur, and a creator of several of the travel and entertainment industries’ most game-changing technologies. He’s been lauded by top executives at many of the world’s most respected technology companies including HP, Microsoft, Google, Dell, and Cisco as the best CIO they have ever seen and he’s earned the distinction of a top 50 CIO by CIO Magazine.

After earning his MBA in Internet, Information Technology Strategy from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, Les joined Holiday Inn Worldwide as their Director of Emerging Technologies where he planned, developed and implemented the hotel industry’s first web-based, Internet travel reservation system for the company in 1994. Les then joined Carlson Wagonlit Travel in 1996 as their Chief Technology Officer where he built the industry’s first Internet-based system for the travel industry. In 1999, Les Co-Founded AgentWare where he designed and developed the first and most comprehensive Meta-Search Engine for the travel industry, and he then licensed it to Kayak.

Over the next 10 years, Les founded and grew two more tech companies – INTENT MediaWorks, a file-sharing content Management & Distribution platform in the entertainment industry, and PLAT4M, where he built highly scalable SaaS applications for the Web 2.0, Media and Travel Industries.

Most recently, in 2013, Les returned to the corporate world as Global CIO & Chief Innovation Officer for the Las Vegas Sands.

Resources & Links

Les Ottolenghi

  • 329 | Ruff and Ready: ADA gives hotels a short leash when accommodating guests with service animals

    Many hotels these days have made room for guests with disabilities. Hotel managers and staff should also know what the Americans with Disabilities Act says about accommodating guests with pets. During the pandemic lockdowns, a lot of people added a pet to their household and now they’re bringing Fido along on vacation. Hotel employees need to know how to cater to both consumers who are pet owners as well as guests who travel with a trained service animal. Episode 329 of Lodging Leaders podcast reports on how the ADA defines a service animal and how a hotel is legally obligated to serve a guest who comes with a dog or any other animal.

  • 328 | Curb Appeal: Hotels’ refreshed images designed to attract road trippers

    Nearly 48 million Americans plan to travel over the Fourth of July weekend, predicts AAA. Most of them will drive and many of them plan to stay in hotels. What makes a travel consumer choose your hotel? Price can be a factor but so can the story the property tells through its online photos and its real-life curb appeal. First impressions of a hotel set the tone for the guest’s entire stay. Its roadside image is more important than ever as the lodging industry this summer hangs its hopes on a comeback driven by domestic travelers. Lodging Leaders podcast explores the importance of a hotel’s curb appeal as hoteliers think of ways to attract travelers seeking safety and assurance as the nation emerges from the coronavirus pandemic.

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