Philip Wolf, founder of travel research firm Phocuswright, died on Tuesday at age 64 following a brief illness.
After graduating from Duke University with a degree in public policy studies and Vanderbilt University with an MBA, Wolf worked as assistant to the CEO of a New York Stock Exchange retailer and worked in the lamp manufacturing business. He entered the travel industry in 1989 as the head of a small agency inside Travelmation. Wolf then launched Phocuswright in 1994.
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," according to the company.
As the architect of the Phocuswright Conference, Wolf interviewed many industry leaders one-on-one.
After selling Phocuswright in 2011, Wolf retired from an executive role and became a mentor and serial board director. He served as an independent board director for more than 25 private and listed companies on four continents 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 Phocuswright managing director Pete Comeau. “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.”