Tripadvisor has announced that co-founder and longtime CEO Stephen Kaufer will leave the company in 2022.
Kaufer (pictured above) co-founded Tripadvisor in 2000 and has grown the company into one of the largest travel platforms in the world, with employees in over 20 countries and operating localised travel sites in over 40 markets.
“We come to the close of 2021 in a strong position – travellers are returning as we exit the pandemic, exciting new initiatives are well on their way, and we continue to leverage our strengths as we evolve Tripadvisor for the future,” he said in a statement.
“Given our strong position, the talented teams driving our plans forward, and after over 20 years at Tripadvisor, I believe now is the best time to announce my plans to step away from the company next year.
“I have such respect and appreciation for all the teams over the years who have made this company what it is today, and remain devoted to continuing to guide the Tripadvisor family as CEO until the transition is complete.”
Tripadvisor’s chairman, Greg Maffei, said Kaufer has been the driving force at the company since its launch in 2000.
“His contributions to the consumer’s travel experience are immeasurable, and his vision has resulted in the Tripadvisor we know today,” Maffei said.
The company’s board of directors are already searching for Kaufer’s successor, with Maffei noting that Tripadvisor already has a number of “excellent internal candidates”.
“We will complement this with an external search to ensure we get the best leader for Tripadvisor,” he said.
“We look forward to Steve’s continued guidance at the helm as we transition to Tripadvisor’s next exciting chapter.”
Tripadvisor has also announced that chief brand and marketing officer Lindsay Nelson will leave her position on 9 January 2022, with her employment being treated as a “termination of employment without cause”, according to a company filing on the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
Thereafter, Nelson will serve the company in an advisory role until 28 February 2022.