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In 2007, BBC Worldwide purchased travel guide behemoth, Lonely Planet, from its founders, Tony and Maureen Wheeler, for $210 million. A year later, profits plummeted during the global financial crisis. In April 2012, Lonely Planet wasn't for sale when billionaire Brad Kelley, approached BBC Worldwide about buying the company. An astute businessman, Kelley, who says he has never smoked, founded tobacco company Commonwealth Brands in 1991 and sold it a decade later for $1 billion. Preferring to be unburdened from its sour investment, BBC Worldwide sold Lonely Planet to Kelley for $77 million in April, 2013. There was no search for a new boss. Kelly shocked observers by announcing unknown 24-year-old former wedding photographer, Daniel Houghton would take the reins.
During the prior year, Houghton had helped Kelly found and run NC2 Media, a website featuring outdoor expeditions. Houghton was also the one to do much of the due diligence in preparation for the Lonely Planet purchase. In the months leading up to the Lonely Planet purchase, Kelly inquired if Houghton needed to be liked. Houghton replied, "Well, I want to be liked." "That's not what I asked," Kelley said. "I don't need to be liked," Houghton said. "Good," Kelley said. "Needing to be liked is a problem. As long as you understand that, this will be fun."
If the struggling Lonely Planet was a sinking cruise ship, Houghton and Kelly believed they had to get into a lifeboat in order to save the company. After consulted with Kelley, Houghton ultimately made the call to do just that. In July of 2013, Houghton’s big first move as the head of Lonely Planet was announcing that 75 of Lonely Planet's 383 full-time employees were redundant. - Adapted from Outside Magazine
Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear. - Ambrose Redmoon