Ariane Gorin, who will become CEO of Expedia Group in May

Gorin to replace Kern as Expedia Group CEO on 13 May

US: Expedia Group has confirmed that Ariane Gorin, the company’s president of Expedia for Business, will take over from outgoing incumbent Peter Kern as CEO on 13 May.

Kern will complete his contract before continuing to serve as the company’s vice chairman and member of the board of directors, working closely with Gorin to ensure a smooth transition.

Gorin, who has also been elected to serve on the company’s board of directors, has held various executive roles at Expedia Group since 2013. As president of Expedia for Business, she helped the company to grow its B2B revenue by 33 per cent between 2022 and 2023, and led its global supply partner group, advertising business and B2B partner network.

Barry Diller, chairman and senior executive of Expedia Group, said: “Ariane Gorin is a superb executive that all of us at Expedia Group and our board have worked with for ten years. We very much wanted an internal candidate to succeed to the CEO position, and following a comprehensive search, the board determined Ariane was the best candidate given her exemplary leadership.”

Gorin said: “I am truly honoured to have the opportunity to lead Expedia Group as we build on the foundations established by Peter, our leadership team, and our global workforce. Leading our multibillion-dollar B2B business has been an incredible experience and I look forward to even greater growth ahead for the entire company.

“It’s an exciting time in the company’s history, and I’m energised by the opportunities ahead for our employees, travellers, and partners,” she added.

Kern has served as CEO of Expedia Group since 2020, taking over from Mark Okerstrom, who resigned abruptly the previous December over reported disagreements with the company’s board on strategy.

At the same time, the group raised $3.2 billion, made up of $2 billion in debt financing and $1.2 billion in equity investment injected by Apollo Global Management and Silver Lake Partners.

Kern said: “I am proud of and grateful to the team we have built at Expedia Group and the tenacity and resilience they demonstrated as we worked through an incredibly ambitious and challenging transformation. We have quite literally reset the company for the future, and we are in position to lead our industry for decades to come.

“I have had the pleasure of working closely with Ariane for these last four years. She is a proven leader, answering any challenge thrown at her, including most recently as head of our tremendously successful B2B business.

“As vice chairman, I look forward to working closely with Ariane and our leadership team as they continue the momentum we have built and realise on all the opportunity that our transformation has created,” he added.

Diller continued: “On behalf of the board, I would like to thank Mr Kern for his excellent service as CEO since 2020. He not only guided the company through the supremely challenging pandemic years, but also drove Expedia Group’s organisational and technological transformation.”

Earlier in the day, Expedia Group announced its financial results for the fourth quarter and full year ending on 31 December 2023.

Key highlights from the earnings call included record full year lodging gross bookings, Expedia Group’s highest full year and Q4 revenue, and record quarterly and full year B2B revenue.

Kern said: “We delivered on our full year guidance and drove record results, all while completing a massive transformation and navigating the inherent volatility that comes with that. Our work is finally starting to deliver results, and we are in the best place we’ve ever been technologically.

“Moving forward, we are now able to execute without the numerous constraints we have faced in recent years. We will continue to focus on acquiring and retaining the right customers, driving share growth in our B2C and B2B businesses, and providing the best product and partner experience in the industry.

“It is really exciting to be in position to go back on offense and lead the industry,” he added.

Expedia Group’s three flagship consumer brands include Expedia, Hotels.com and vacation rental brand Vrbo. Last year, the group launched its One Key loyalty programme to unify its three flagship brands into one flexible travel rewards experience, which is currently available in the United States and will become available globally “soon”.

Earlier this week, American streaming service Netflix signed on Expedia Group as its first global advertising partner for a multi-market campaign on the former’s ad-supported tier this year. The landmark partnership, which will reach more than 23 million global monthly active users [MAUs] on Netflix’s ad-supported plan, will jointly help Expedia Group for its worldwide expansion strategy and Netflix for its multi-country advertising offering to advertisers and members.

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