Technology

Tripadvisor sacks 200 staff amid leadership shake-up

TripAdvisor plans to reorganise its leadership team and make Viator a separate tours and activities brand.

In an email obtained by Skift, TripAdvisor CEO and co-founder Steve Kaufer told employees that Gary Fritz, who leads Tripadvisor’s Asia-Pacific business and operates as the company’s chief growth officer, will leave Tripadvisor in the second quarter of 2020.

The change forms part of a reorganisation at TripAdvisor as the company seeks to “increase focus and alignment”. Among them is the appointment of current president of core experiences, Lindsay Nelson, as chief experience & brand officer.

Nelson will take over lead responsibility in Asia-Pacific. Jane Lim, who heads operations in the region, will now report to her. Nelson’s new role will also see her head brand marketing, loyalty, and new ventures.

She will be charged with growing advertising and media sales beyond travel in areas that include automotive and financial services, among others.

Kanika Soni has been appointed chief commercial officer for Tripadvisor, and will assume responsibility for B2C product, SEO and performance marketing for Tripadvisor rentals, Tripadvisor Experiences, and TA Restaurants.

Soni will continue to oversee Hotels B2B portfolio and auction, as well as the Hotels and OTA sales organisations.

Viator and TripAdvisor Experiences

TripAdvisor is also set to emphasise Viator as a separate tours and activities brand, with product “distinct” from TripAdvisor Experiences’.

As part of the change, Dermot Halpin, who leads TripAdvisor’s Attractions, will transition out of Tripadvisor, and will serve as an advisor through the end of the first quarter.

Kaufer will head Tripadvisor Experiences for the next 90 days on an interim basis, he told employees.

While vice president of business development and strategy for Tripadvisor Rentals and Attractions, Ben Drew, will become president of Viator and a member of Tripadvisor’s executive leadership team.

The changes in leadership detailed by Kaufer form part of a company strategy to move away from its current corporate structure of giving each of its business units – whether Hotels/Accommodations or Core Experience, among others – a president.

They also form part of a bid to stay relevant, as the company moves to “return to long term, sustained growth”.

Kaufer also advised that TripAdvisor had made the “difficult decision” to layoff a number of its staff. According to Skift, 200 of TripAdvisor’s international staff have been laid off, as the company looks to reduce its “overall cost structure and ready the company for sustainable future growth”, Kaufer said.

“Impacted employees have been offered comprehensive severance packages, including transition pay and outplacement support,” he said.

We are also expediting the interview process for employees who might be a fit for other open internal roles inside the company.

“These decisions are difficult. But I also believe it’s imperative we evolve the organization in order to protect our chances for future success,” Kaufer said.

Speaking to the announced changes by Kaufer, a TripAdvisor spokesperson provided Travel Weekly the following statement:

“During our Q3 2019 earnings commentary in November, we communicated that we are evaluating our cost structure. We are prudently reducing and re-allocating expenses in certain parts of our business to preserve strong profitability, while also enabling us to continue to invest in strategic growth areas.”

This will see the company right-size its experiences and dining segment, reduce other targeted costs, and optimise brand advertising investments across more impactful mediums.

TripAdvisor intends to reinvest some, but not all, of its realised savings into its newer growth areas: media advertising revenue, TripAdvisor restaurant services, hotel B2B services, and membership loyalty efforts.

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Aviation

Qantas crew who tested positive for COVID-19 were not required to quarantine

Despite later testing positive for COVID-19, four members of Qantas’ cabin crew were not required to quarantine after operating a repatriation flight from Chile.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Austrian authorities face possible class action over COVID-19 outbreak at ski resort

Authorities in the Austrian state of Tyrol are facing a potential class-action lawsuit over their handling of a COVID-19 outbreak at a popular ski resort.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

Virtual travel: The ultimate list of tours and live streams to cure cabin fever

If, like Travel Weekly, you’re suffering from a case of itchy feet, we have just the thing for you.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

More than 40 per cent of Flight Centre’s Australian stores to go

by Huntley Mitchell

The move is part of a detailed package of initiatives designed to strengthen the company’s balance sheet and liquidity position amid the COVID-19 crisis.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Aviation Wrap: Cathay delivers medical supplies, Emirates’ emotional send off, LATAM’s repatriation efforts + MORE!

This week’s Aviation Wrap has got us flying high with a spate of good news stories detailing what the industry is doing to help out during the global pandemic.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Ensemble CEO “disappointed” to be leaving local market

by Huntley Mitchell

David Harris said the decision to close the company’s trans-Tasman operations was actually being considered prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

WATCH: Flight attendant hilariously tries to work from home

To pass her time in social isolation, one crafty flight attendant has tried to fulfil her regular duties in her apartment, drawing the ire of her husband in the process.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

How Ovolo is adapting in tough times to continue its unique hotel experience

The hotel group is flipping the bird at COVID-19 and making the most of these challenging times with a variety of new initiatives.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

#Together4Tourism: Rezdy launches new industry support platform

An online booking platform has launched a new initiative to help tourism professionals navigate the new normal.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

“We will all get through this”: Guy Sebastian’s heartwarming message to MTA agents

The ARIA award-winning singer-songwriter sent a video to MTA agents and its head office team extending his support amid the coronavirus crisis.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Destination Wrap: Tourism Australia’s message of hope, Vanuatu keeps it beautiful + MORE!

Despite hardship, tourism boards and destinations near and far are staying hopeful, with their eyes set firmly on recovery.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Accor pledges $125 million towards COVID-19 employee fund

The hotel giant will allocate 25 per cent of a withdrawn dividend to a special-purpose fund for its employees.

Share

CommentComments