Expedia is replacing its CEO and CFO over a strategy disagreement

Posted December 4, 2019 10:10 a.m. EST

— Expedia just parted ways with its top two executives after a major disagreement between the board and the C-suite.

CEO Mark Okerstrom and Chief Financial Officer Alan Pickerill resigned their roles Wednesday, effective immediately. The announcement of the abrupt move came from Barry Diller, who is the chairman of Expedia's board. Diller said the board and senior management "disagreed on strategy" about the company's reorganization efforts.

Earlier in 2019, Expedia sought to unite its family of brands, which includes a variety of well-known travel websites including Orbitz, and Vrbo. But Diller said the strategy failed.

"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," Diller said in a regulatory filing.

Expedia's board disagreed with the executives' outlook for the company, as well as the leadership's vision for growth. The company's directors strongly believe the company can accelerate growth in 2020, Diller said. He announced that he will be purchasing additional shares in the company as a "tangible sign of my faith in and commitment to Expedia's long-term future."

Diller and vice chairman Peter Ken will manage day-to-day operations while the board "determines the long-term leadership of the company." For now, Pickerill will be replaced by Eric Hart, who will serve as acting CFO. Hart had been president of Expedia Partner Solutions.

Expedia's most recent earnings missed analysts' expectations, because it was weighed down by slower-than-expected revenue growth for some of its websites, including home-sharing platform Vrbo.

The stock spiked 5% Wednesday, but it's still down nearly 8% for the year.

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