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  • Lawrence Ng

Making the Cut – Arthur Chapin, Expedia

Updated: Aug 18, 2021

From his humble beginning as an intern to his current day job as the Senior Vice President of global product & design at Expedia, Arthur Chapin is consistent with one thing – he’s a traveler and cook at heart.

By: Lawrence Ng, Eve Goh

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Transcription: I am absolutely blessed to be able to travel a fair amount both professionally as well as personally. The first time that I got to take my son to the beach- so I’ve a 3½ year old, a kid from Seattle. There is no swimming in the water in Seattle, it’s a little cold. So just to see him sort of explore the beach and especially see the sea turtles which were his favourite, those were memories that which will last for the rest of my life. I also really enjoy the quick, sort of, stopovers or the things you can do when you’re on long business trips. One of my favourite memories was actually going to Koh Samui, offering the owner of the restaurant a little bit of money to teach me how to cook Thai food and the next morning he took me to the market and taught me how to make those dishes. The banana blossom was the best and I flew back that night. So, that’s the type of experiences that will last me forever. Cooking is one of my favourite hobbies. I am constantly experimenting so there’s no one dish – that’s one thing about me whether it’s at work or at home. I started at Expedia, I think I was employee number 262 in our development lab, actually helping us move out of Microsoft. It was kind of cool to see this company grow from a small startup into a large, sort of, international travel player. The scale of Expedia now is absolutely amazing, what hasn’t changed is the people. The same reason that I wanted to join as an intern still exists today. We have a culture of learning, so we will sometimes run tests that challenge assumptions we had – things that had to be true or there’s no way that this feature, you know, could be tested off. Often what we find is that the assumption we had was a wrong assumption. There were co-workers that could feel run over or could feel like I would do anything to, sort of, get the result and would leave dead bodies, if you will. I put more of my effort now into ‘how’, and how the teams interact than the specific ‘what’ we are accomplishing because the ‘what’ takes care of itself. If people are passionate, they know what they are trying to do, and how they are doing it, is by working together. I think it’s only through great mentorship with many of the leaders of Expedia, but also time that I came to value and understand that how you accomplish something is as important as what you accomplish because the ‘how’ is what inspires and trains future people.

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