The so-called relevancy assessment, which had Trivago punishing big advertisers for landing pages that didn't perform well, and other factors, proved to be a multiyear disaster for the metasearch company. The company has ditched the policy — and now its CEO.
In a surprise move, Trivago announced that co-founder and CEO Rolf Schrömgens will step down at the end of the year and be replaced by Chief Financial Officer Axel Hefer.
Schrömgens will remain a member of the board of directors, what Trivago calls its supervisory board. In turn, the new CFO will be Matthias Tillman, who currently heads corporate finance.
The move follows a couple of years of struggles for Trivago, which saw one of its largest advertising partners, Booking Holdings, reduce its spend over a dispute over its prominence on Trivago, as well as a move to make all of its marketing spend more efficient. Trivago has introduced a “relevance assessment,” which downgraded advertisers if their landing pages weren’t performing well.
Schrömgens had been CEO for nearly 15 years, and guided Trivago through its initial public offering in 2016.
The company announcement the executive shuffle in tandem with its third quarter earnings release.
Trivago’s net income nose-dived in the quarter to more than $333,280 from around $11.2 million a year earlier.
Schrömgens said its revenue mark for the quarter was less than expected. Revenue in the quarter declined about 1 percent to $287 million.
Hefer joined Trivago before its IPO in 2016 and took a board seat and the CFO slot.
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Photo credit: Trivago CFO Axel Hefer will become CEO at the end of 2019. Trivago