Does the reorganization and leadership shuffle make Expedia Group a proverbial lean, mean fighting machine to better compete? As with all these things, it will all depend on the execution.
After shutting brands like Pillow and ApartmentJet, and striking a deal to spin off Egencia since becoming CEO a year ago, Expedia Group’s Peter Kern led a reorganization of the company that sees a trio of high-profile executives leaving.
Trimming the business unit organization from five units to four and remaking them, Expedia Group appointed Rathi Murthy chief technology officer and president of Expedia Services, and Jon Gieselman the president of Expedia Brands, the company announced Monday.
Leaving the company over the new few months will be Cyril Ranque, president of Travel Partners Group, a 15-year Expedia veteran; Adam Jay, president and co-lead of Marketing, with a decade of Expedia experience, and Tucker Moodey, president of Retail Product and Technology, who was at the company for more than nine years.
An Expedia Group spokesperson didn’t answer whether the trio’s performance fell short, but said the reorganization is all about the company’s drive over the last couple of years to simplify its operations.
Expedia Group’s four business units in the new setup are Expedia Brands, led by Jon Gieselman, a current board member who joined the company from Apple, where he led Services marketing; Expedia Marketplace, headed by John Kim, who moves over from being president of Platform and Marketplaces; Expedia Services, run by new Chief Technology Officer Rathi Murthy, who comes on board from Verizon Media, and Expedia for Business, headed by Ariane Gorin, who previously ran Expedia Business Services.
Expedia for Business under Gorin combines the former Travel Partners Group and Expedia Business Services “to create a powerhouse B2B organization,” the company said.
As part of the reshuffle, Jeff Hurst, who runs Vrbo and was formerly president and co-lead Marketing, takes on an expanded role as Expedia Brands chief operating officer, reporting to Gieselman. Hurst will continue to run Vrbo, as well.
“As we move into four clearer operating divisions, the addition of Rathi and Jon and new roles for John and Ariane demonstrate our commitment to simplifying our business so we can be more agile and deliver innovative products faster,” CEO Peter Kern said in a statement. “We set out last year with a clear mission: To power the entire travel ecosystem, and these positions fill the core skillsets we need to accelerate forward.”
Senior executive Barry Diller and Kern have been on a drive for the past couple of years to streamline the organization, which they felt was fat and cumbersome. They felt the company had too many duplicative efforts, with many of the brands, which include Expedia, Vrbo, Hotels.com, and others, had their own marketing teams.
One of the company’s key goals over the last year has been to reduce its reliance on Google. As the new president of Expedia Brands, Gieselman will undoubtably be focused on that effort
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Photo credit: Expedia Group CEO Peter Kern led a company reorganization. Expedia Group