Expedia Group has announced the shock resignation of chief executive Mark Okerstrom and chief financial officer Alan Pickerill, effective immediately.
Expedia chairman Barry Diller and vice chairman Peter Kern will oversee the company’s executive leadership team, managing day-to-day operations, while the board determines the long-term leadership of the company.
Eric Hart, Expedia’s chief strategy officer, will serve as acting CFO. Ariane Gorin, who most recently served as president of Expedia Partner Solutions, is being promoted and will have an expanded role as president of Expedia Business Services.
Diller said the departure of Okerstrom (pictured above) and Pickerill was ultimately the outcome of a disagreement on strategy between Expedia’s senior management and the board.
“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.”
Expedia has also announced a new share repurchase authorisation for up to an additional 20 million shares of the company’s common stock, which is in addition to the nine million shares available under its existing authorisation.
Accordingly, Expedia now has approximately 29 million shares available under its repurchase program.
Diller said he will purchase additional shares in the company “as a tangible sign of my faith in and commitment to Expedia’s long-term future”.