Expedia Group's CEO, CFO resign following disagreements with board

Board chairman and prominent businessman Barry Diller will take over day-to-day operations of the company.
Written by Natalie Gagliordi, Contributor

Expedia Group -- the parent company behind travel brands such as Expedia, Travelocity, VRBO and Orbitz -- is shaking up its leadership team following disagreements on strategy. 

The company announced Wednesday that chief executive Mark Okerstrom and CFO Alan Pickerill have resigned from the organization effective immediately. Okerstrom will also step down from his position on the company's board of directors. 

Board chairman and prominent businessman Barry Diller will take over day-to-day operations of the company, along with vice chairman Peter Kern, until a long-term plan is established. Eric Hart will serve as acting CFO.

In a statement, Diller said the board disagreed with Okerstrom and Pickerill on strategy after Expedia Group's attempt at reorganization failed to deliver positive results. 

"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," Diller said. "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."

Expedia has had a string of rocky quarters, and its recent third quarter results missed Wall Street expectations. The company placed significant blame on Google for pushing down free listings from travel companies within search results, which forced Expedia Group to spend more on advertising.

Diller said he plans to repurchase shares as a sign of good faith in the company's long-term future. Diller has been chairman of Expedia Group's board since 2002.

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