Although this looks like a smooth change at the top, we'll have to keep an eye on whether the new CEO deviates from the path the company has set itself on in recent years.
In what seems like an orderly transition, Hostelworld Group ‘s long-serving CEO Feargal Mooney is stepping down next month. Expedia’s head of retail, Gary Morrison, will replace him.
Mooney has been at Hostelworld for 16 years and served as CEO for the last 10. He was instrumental in the company’s growth and led it to an IPO in 2015.
Morrison’s appointment comes after what Hostelworld called a “rigorous search process”. He will take over on June 11, immediately after the company’s annual general meeting. Morrison has been at Expedia for the last seven years and before becoming head of retail in 2013 he headed up the Europe, Middle East and Africa region.
Hostelworld raised $215 million in its IPO with the initial price per share set at $2.21. The stock was trading at $5.34 this morning.
There’s no mention in the statement of what Mooney might do next. He currently serves as a non-executive director at events space platform Meetingsbooker.com.
What they said
Michael Cawley, chairman of Hostelworld, said: “Feargal has been speaking with me and the Board about his plans for the long term and consequently some months ago we focused our attentions on succession to facilitate an orderly transition.
“We are delighted to appoint a candidate of Gary’s calibre and experience to succeed Feargal. Gary’s experience of the travel industry together with his track record of growth in an online marketing business make him an ideal choice to drive the business forward and deliver on our ambitious goals.”
Mooney said: “Leading Hostelworld from start-up to PLC has been a real honour and I’ve loved every step along the way. It has been, and continues to be, a really fun and interesting business, and I’ve had the privilege of working with some enormously talented and supportive people over the years I’ve been here.
“After sixteen years developing the business, ten as chief executive, I believe that a change will be good for me personally and for Hostelworld.”
Morrison said: “I’m honoured and grateful to the Board for the opportunity to lead this exceptional business.
“The Hostelworld Group has been very successful at delivering social travel experiences for almost 19 years, and I am looking forward to working with the Hostelworld team, the Board, Hostellers and our partners to deliver the next phase of growth.”
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Photo credit: The King Kong Hostel in Rotterdam. Hostelworld Group is getting a new CEO. Hostelworld Group