Shock Ex­pe­dia de­par­tures

Travel Daily - - News -

A “DIS­AGREE­MENT over strat­egy” is be­ing cited for the abrupt overnight res­ig­na­tions of Ex­pe­dia Group CEO Mark Ok­er­strom and the com­pany’s CFO, Alan Pick­er­ill.

The sud­den de­par­tures, which fol­low a profit down­grade and dis­ap­point­ing quar­terly re­sults will see Ex­pe­dia Chair­man, Barry Diller, take over day-to-day op­er­a­tions ef­fec­tive im­me­di­ately, along­side Vice Chair Peter Kern.

“Ear­lier this year, Ex­pe­dia em­barked on an am­bi­tious re­or­gan­i­sa­tion plan with the goal of bring­ing our brands and tech­nol­ogy to­gether in a more ef­fi­cient way,” Diller said.

“This re­or­gan­i­sa­tion, while sound in con­cept, re­sulted in a ma­te­rial loss of fo­cus on our cur­rent op­er­a­tions,” he added, with Ok­er­strom and Pick­er­ill cit­ing a “lack­lus­tre near-term out­look”.

“The Board dis­agreed with that out­look, as well as the de­part­ing lead­er­ship’s vi­sion for growth.

“That di­ver­gence ne­ces­si­tated a change in man­age­ment,” he said.

Diller added he would be buy­ing ad­di­tional shares in the com­pany as a sign of his com­mit­ment to Ex­pe­dia’s long-term fu­ture.

The on­line travel gi­ant, which owns Wo­tif.com in Aus­tralia, most re­cently re­ported an 11% growth in room nights, but lower prof­its due to Google favour­ing its own “Ho­tel Finder” plat­form and paid links in search re­sults, in turn forc­ing Ex­pe­dia into “higher cost mar­ket­ing chan­nels”.

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