Shock Expedia departures
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”.