John Davis (entrepreneur)

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John Davis
John F. Davis III Headshot.jpg
John F. Davis III

1953 (age 65–66)
Other namesJohn F. Davis, John Davis III
Alma materTexas Christian University
Known forFormer Chairman and CEO of Pegasus Solutions Inc
Board member ofTRX Inc, Texas Christian University

John F. Davis III (born 1953) is an entrepreneur, educator, CEO of Room Key, and a member of the Texas Christian University Board of Trustees.[1][2][3] He is a co-founder of 1-800-Flowers and former CEO of both Pegasus Solutions and Birch Street Systems.[4][5][6]

Early life[edit]

Davis was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where he attended Broadmoor High School. He is the oldest of five siblings. Davis graduated from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas with a bachelor’s in business administration.[7] Following his graduation, Davis briefly became involved in politics, serving as U.S. Senator John Tower’s campaign director during Tower's successful 1978 reelection bid.[7] Following his work on Tower's campaign, Davis ran for a seat in the Texas House of Representatives and lost a close race.[7]


Davis' business career began in 1978, when he became president of Mid-South Drilling Co.[7] In 1982, he co-founded 1-800-FLOWERS, then a toll-free phone ordering system for the floral industry, with business partner Jim Poage.[5] He sold his stake in the company to James McCann in 1984.[4][7]

Davis founded a telemarketing company, ATC Communications, in 1984.[7][8] By the time he sold the business in 1989, ATC Communications had 1,200 employees.[7]

Pegasus Solutions (1989-2008)[edit]

In 1989, Davis was hired as president and CEO of the Hotel Switch Company (THISCO), which was a consortium of fifteen major hotel chains.[7][9] At THISCO, Davis created a computer switch that linked the individual chains’ reservations with airline global distribution systems.[7] His Pegasus Electronic Distribution Switch technology launched in 1989 and he began selling the technology to hotel chains outside of the consortium.[7]

In 1992, Davis led the formation of Hotel Clearing Corporation.[10] In 1994, Davis led the launch of TravelWeb, then an online travel and hotel catalogue.[7] In 1996, TravelWeb became the first website that allowed users to book hotel and airline reservations online.[6][7]

THISCO and the Hotel Clearing Corporation were combined to form Pegasus Systems, Inc. in 1996. Davis was retained as president and CEO of Pegasus. In 1999, Hotel Clearing Corporation was renamed Pegasus Commission Processing and THISCO renamed Pegasus Electronic Distribution.[11]

Davis led Pegasus' acquisition of REZsolutions, a hotel marketing and reservation provider in 2000. In 2006, Prides Capital acquired Pegasus solutions for $275 million.[12] Davis retired from Pegasus in July 2008.[13][14]

Birch Street Systems (2008-2010)[edit]

In November 2008, Davis became CEO of Birch Street Systems, an e-procurement and back office automation solutions provider.[6] He left Birch Street in 2010.[8]

Room Key[edit]

Davis was the founding CEO of Room Key until September 2014, a startup hotel metasearch engine.[15][16] Room Key launched in January 2012 and is owned by Choices Hotels International, Hilton Worldwide, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, InterContinental Hotels Group, Marriott International, and Wyndham Worldwide or their respective affiliates.[15][16]

Other activities[edit]

Davis has served as executive-in-residence at the Neeley School of Business at Texas Christian University since 2008.[17] He is also a member of Texas Christian University's board of trustees.[3]

He currently sits on the board of Birch Street and has served on TRX Inc.'s board of directors since 2000.[8][18] Davis was appointed Honorary Consul of the Principality of Monaco in Dallas by HSH Prince Rainier III on June 24, 2003.[19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Global hotel brands join forces to launch". VatorNews. Retrieved 9 January 2014.
  2. ^ " looks forward to 2nd year". Asian Hospitality. Retrieved 9 January 2014.
  3. ^ a b "'s John Davis III". Travel Weekly. Retrieved 9 January 2014.
  4. ^ a b "Some Reservations". Forbes. Retrieved 9 January 2014.
  5. ^ a b "Love this business? Love it not". Dallas Morning News. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved 9 January 2014.
  6. ^ a b c "John F. Davis III Named CEO at Hospitality "P2P" and Spend Management Innovator Birch Street Systems". Hotel Investment News. Archived from the original on 16 January 2014. Retrieved 9 January 2014.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Room Service". Texas Monthly. March 2000.
  8. ^ a b c "John F. Davis III". Flying Frogs Investment. Retrieved 9 January 2014.
  9. ^ "PEGASUS SYSTEMS, INC". SEC. Retrieved 9 January 2014.
  10. ^ Sara Perez Webber (1 January 2001). "He Has the Solutions.(John F Davis, III of Pegasus Solutions)". Travel Agent.
  11. ^ "Pegasus Renames To Solidify Brand". Leisure Travel News. 8 March 1999.
  12. ^ "Prides Capital buys Pegasus". Breaking Travel News. Retrieved 9 January 2014.
  13. ^ "Pegasus COO Takes Helm As CEO Steps Down". Business Travel News. Retrieved 9 January 2014.
  14. ^ "John Davis says goodbye to Pegasus". Hotelmarketing. Retrieved 9 January 2014.
  15. ^ a b "IN TRANSIT; Hotels Band to Offer Their Own Search Site". New York Times. Retrieved 9 January 2014.
  16. ^ a b "Meet Roomkey". The Economist. Retrieved 9 January 2014.
  17. ^ "People On the Move". Dallas Business Journal. Retrieved 9 January 2014.
  18. ^ "John F. Davis III". Businessweek. Retrieved 9 January 2014.
  19. ^ "CONSULAR NETWORK". Embassy of Monaco. Retrieved 9 January 2014.