Wednesday 4 December 2019 7:05 pm

Expedia bosses quit after clashes over strategy

Expedia chief executive Mark Okerstrom and finance boss Alan Pickerill have quit following disagreements with the board over the travel group’s strategy. 

Chairman Barry Diller said he will oversee the company’s executive leadership team with vice chairman Peter Kern. Chief strategy officer Eric Hart will serve as acting chief finance officer. 

The pair’s exit, which is effective immediately, comes after Expedia implemented a reorganisation plan that the board said had “resulted in a material loss of focus on our current operations”.

This distraction lead to “disappointing” third quarter results and a “lackluster near-term outlook”, the board said. 

Diller said: “Ultimately, senior management and the Board disagreed on strategy. Earlier this year, Expedia embarked on an ambitious reorganization plan with the goal of bringing our brands and technology together in a more efficient way.

“This reorganization, while sound in concept, resulted in a material loss of focus on our current operations, leading to disappointing third quarter results and a lackluster 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.” 

Billionaire Diller added that he would buy extra shares in the company in a show of “faith in and commitment to the company’s long-term future”. 

Expedia’s shares rose nearly eight per cent following the news.