Phocuswright founder Philip Wolf passes away

Philip Wolf, founder of Phocuswright, has passed away after a brief illness. He was 64.

After graduating from Duke University with a BA in public policy studies and Vanderbilt University with an MBA, he worked as an assistant to the CEO of a New York Stock Exchange retailer and in the lamp manufacturing business. He entered the travel industry in 1989, as the head of a small agency inside Travelmation. Subsequently, as CEO, he made a name for himself in travel, tourism and hospitality.

After decades of analyzing, scrutinizing and opining on strategic change and market trends, he built a brand around his trademark catchphrase: “Strategically correct, not politically correct.”

The company he masterminded is now a leading source for travel, tourism and hospitality intelligence. Nearly every industry pitch and presentation today contains a slide stamped: “Source: Phocuswright.”

After selling Phocuswright in 2011, Wolf retired from an executive role and embarked on a journey as mentor and serial board director. He served as an independent board director for more than 25 private and listed companies on four continents—including India’s MakeMyTrip—and served as board director for Hopper, TrustYou, Blacklane, bd4Travel, SmarTours and Mobi Systems, as well as board advisor to DataArt, Hudson Crossing, dnata, ITB, RedDoorz, RateGain, Videc, Arival and Vertoe.

“Philip was more than our founder; he was Phocuswright’s guiding light,” said Pete Comeau, managing director of Phocuswright. “A legend and pioneer of online travel and travel tech, he touched so many in the industry. He gave freely of his knowledge and expertise, and we are all poorer with his loss.”

Northstar Travel Group Chairman/CEO Tom Kemp added, “Philip was a true visionary in the travel industry and the cornerstone of the travel technology revolution as well as our founder and leader of Phocuswright.”

Bob Sullivan, president, Northstar Travel Group, added,  “The industry has lost a genius today. Philip was an integral part of the Phocuswright and Northstar family. We are all heartbroken.”