Expedia Group has done some heavy lifting in recent years. But as CEO Peter Kern has said, the work is never over.
In a letter to employees — obtained by Skift — after the news broke that he’d be stepping down in May, Expedia Group CEO Peter Kern said there were times when he wasn’t sure whether the multiyear reorganization of the company was going deep or fast enough.
During his four-year reign as CEO of Expedia Group, Peter Kern, led a major revamping of the company, pruning far-flung brands around the world, introducing big technology changes, consolidating marketing teams that sometimes worked at cross-purposes, and launching a revamped loyalty program.
Expedia Employee Letter
Here’s the company letter that Kern sent to Expedia Group employees around the world after market close in New York:
As you will have just seen in our earnings day press releases there is some big news that may have come as a surprise. Yes, thanks to all of you and your hard work, I will be stepping down at the end of my contract and handing the reigns to Ariane in the middle of May. I say thanks to you because it was always the plan (hope) that I would be able to shepherd this transformation through within my four years and set up the team to carry on. To be honest, I had my moments when I wasn’t sure we would get far enough fast enough, but as we continued to accelerate through last year and into this year, I realized we had in fact made it. Now, I’ll be the first to say that we are never done, and even within the bounds of our transformation we still have plenty of finishing work to do. But the biggest hurdles are behind us, the work is accelerating and I am confident we will only get better and faster from here.
When I started here, I didn’t know exactly what I’d be getting into or even that we would take on such a dramatic and bold transformation. And once we had, I honestly didn’t know how long it would take us to get it done. I shared that you had a special opportunity to work at a large company with the willingness to transform, to disrupt, to do the hard stuff it takes to rewrite the future of a mature enterprise. That one day you would look back and, despite the hard work, be grateful that you got to work here during such an important time in the company’s history. I for one, feel that way.
Tomorrow, I’ll share more about how much of a distinct pleasure it has been to be on this journey with all of you. I’m grateful that I’ll leave Expedia in the hands of such a capable team, which I helped build and has my utmost confidence. Ariane and I will work closely on the transition to make sure this is as seamless as possible. To be clear, this is certainly no excuse to take your eyes off the prize – we have a lot of work to do in 2024. I plan to be sprinting through the tape at the end of my term, leaving as they say, “everything on the field.” Rest assured though, I’ll not be far, returning to my perch as Vice Chairman and always available to Ariane and all of you to help however I can.
Peter Kern at Skift Global Forum
The Daily Newsletter
Our daily coverage of the global travel industry. Written by editors and analysts from across Skift’s brands.
Have a confidential tip for Skift? Get in touch