Expedia Group announces shock CEO and CFO resignations
US: Expedia Group has announced that its CEO Mark Okerstrom and CFO Alan Pickerill have resigned from their posts with immediate effect.
As a result, board chairman Barry Diller and vice chairman and Expedia director, Peter Kern, have been tasked with overseeing the company’s executive leadership team for the foreseeable future. They will manage day-to-day operations while the board determines the long-term leadership of the company.
Chief strategy officer Eric Hart will serve as acting CFO and Ariane Gorin, president of Expedia Partner Solutions, is being promoted and will have an expanded role as president of Expedia Business Services.
Diller said: “Ultimately, senior management and the board disagreed on strategy.
“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. This reorganisation, while sound in concept, resulted in a material loss of focus on our current operations, leading to disappointing third quarter results and a lacklustre near-term outlook.
“The board disagreed with that outlook, as well as the departing leadership’s vision for growth, strongly believing the company can accelerate growth in 2020. That divergence necessitated a change in management.
“Mark Okerstrom is a talented executive and his 13 years of service to Expedia has greatly benefited the enterprise. The board and I wish him the best for the future, as we do for Alan Pickerill.
“I will be purchasing additional shares in the company as a tangible sign of my faith in and commitment to Expedia’s long-term future,” he added.
Kern said: “While we share and understand the investment community’s unhappiness with our third quarter results and how 2019 has shaped up overall, we are keenly focused on the future and all of the opportunities ahead of us.
“We believe there is significant opportunity for Expedia to grow revenue and margins in what is still a very dynamic online travel industry. The company has an exceptionally strong and deep executive leadership team in place.
“Barry and I, as well as the entire board, look forward to working closely with them in the period ahead, as well as over the long-term. Additionally, we intend to use our strong balance sheet to continue and amplify our stock repurchase programme, given our belief that the market currently undervalues our company,” he added.
Diller has been chairman of the board of Expedia Group since 2002 when InterActiveCorp acquired a controlling interest in Expedia, and has also served as senior executive of Expedia since 2005.
Kern has been a director of Expedia Group since 2005, as well as serving as vice chairman of Expedia Group since June 2018.
He was most recently CEO and board member of Tribune Media Company and is managing partner of private equity firm InterMedia Partners.
For more information, visit the Expedia Group website here.