Rich Barton, co-founder and CEO of the online real estate marketplace company Zillow Group, has been elected to the Stanford Board of Trustees.

Rich Barton (Image credit: Courtesy of Zillow Group)

He commences his five-year term on Feb. 1.

Before Zillow, Barton served as founder and CEO at Expedia, which he launched from inside Microsoft in 1999. He remained at Expedia until 2003. Barton was also co-founder and chairman of Glassdoor from 2007 to 2018 and a venture partner at Benchmark Capital from 2005 to 2018.

Barton, BS ’89, has long served on committees, councils and task forces at Stanford.

“I am grateful Rich will be joining us on the Board of Trustees,” said Board Chair Jerry Yang. “He brings tremendous entrepreneurial experience and many years of involvement at Stanford in various capacities. As trustee, Rich can continue that commitment in even more ways that will support the university for years to come.”

“We are venturing into a new tech frontier, during what is expected to be a societal transition for the university, its brand and place in the world,” Barton said. “As trustee, I will lend my knowledge and experience in the tech world to help the university and the board achieve its goals. I’m honored and flattered to be given an opportunity to give back to a community that is so meaningful to so many.”

Barton currently serves on the Stanford School of Engineering Advisory Council and the School of Humanities and Sciences Ethics, Society and Technology Task Force and as chair of the Seattle Advisors. Previously, he served on the Bing Overseas Studies Program Council, the Think Again Seattle Steering Committee and the major gifts regional committees for the Campaign for Undergraduate Education and The Stanford Challenge. He has also volunteered for Leading Matters Seattle and his undergraduate reunions.

“I think back on my time at Stanford as formative years – it’s here I met colleagues and lifelong friends who remain important parts of my professional and personal ecosystem. I’ve always been drawn to the energy and I’m excited to stay engaged with this community,” Barton said.

Barton and his wife, Sarah, are strong supporters of the Bing Overseas Studies Program and undergraduate education, including having established an undergraduate scholarship fund. They have also supported the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and ChEM-H.

While an undergraduate at Stanford, Barton studied at the Breyer Center for Overseas Studies in Florence. The decision to go to Florence resulted in him being thrown off the industrial engineering track and instead self-designing his engineering degree. Yet this educational path has since helped him bridge worlds, he said.

Shortly after selling Expedia, Barton took a sabbatical and moved with his family to Florence, where they spent significant time with the Stanford in Florence Program.

The experience was a “particularly catalytic moment,” Barton said. “It was a really wonderful, intimate reconnection for Stanford for me, which just redoubled my engagement.”

As an undergrad, the idea of becoming a university board trustee was always a “quiet little dream,” Barton said, but he didn’t really imagine it would happen. Now that it has, “it’s nice to be able to serve, and it’s nice to be asked to serve,” he said.

In 2004, Barton and his wife formed the Barton Family Foundation with initial efforts focused on funding education and mentoring programs for at-risk youth in Seattle. The foundation has since shifted its concentration to criminal justice reform and social justice.

Barton is also a member of the boards of Netflix, Qurate and Artsy. He previously served on boards including Nextdoor, Ticketmaster, IAC, Common Sense Media and Year Up Puget Sound.

Barton earned his Bachelor of Science degree in engineering, with a focus on industrial economics, from Stanford.

Barton and Sarah, a philanthropist and retired obstetrician/gynecologist, live in Seattle. They have three children.

Media Contacts

E. J. Miranda, University Communications: