Skift Breaking News Blog

Short stories and posts about the daily news happenings around the travel industry.

Online Travel

Charts: Big 3 Online Travel Companies Finish the First Half at 52-Week Stock Price Lows

3 hours ago

Stubborn inflation and fears of recession pushed Airbnb, Booking Holdings, and Expedia Group toward marking 52-week stock price lows on Thursday, the last day of the second quarter, as seen in three charts below.

An Airbnb in Milan, Italy. Airbnb
Yahoo Finance
Yahoo Finance
Yahoo Finance

Airbnb, Expedia and Booking Holdings weren’t alone in their respective plunges, however. The Nasdaq Composite Index likewise was trading at a 52-week low.

These companies’ market caps were smallish compared with better times: Booking Holdings ($71.8 billion), Airbnb ($58 billion), and Expedia Group ($14.8 billion).

Many analysts had written off Booking Holdings as a fading also-ran after the blockbuster Airbnb IPO, but its market cap was considerably higher than Airbnb’s today, the end of the first half of the financial year.

Yahoo Finance

We reported Wednesday that traffic and bookings for the trio were soft in June as compared with June 2019, and this could be a sign of a less-robust summer travel season than what many had predicted.

SimilarWeb found that hotels and vacation rental sites took share from online travel agencies like Booking.com and Expedia.com in the first half of 2022.

Online Travel

The Complexity Headache That Expedia CEO Peter Kern Inherited in 1 Slide

4 weeks ago

Ever wonder about the daunting challenge that Expedia Group CEO Peter Kern inherited from predecessors Dara Khosrowshahi and Mark Okertstrom when Kern took the chief executive spot under Barry Diller in 2020?

The pandemic notwithstanding, Expedia Group captured its infrastructure issues in one slide as part of an investor presentation at Cowen 50th Anniversary Technology, Media & Telecom Conference Wednesday.

Many of the Group’s major brands, from Expedia to Hotels.com and Vrbo, had their own product, marketing and tech teams who were working at cross-purposes and competing against each other.

Competition can light a fire under a marketing group, for example, but did it make sense for Expedia and Hotels.com to bid against one another in Google search, and likely drive up costs?

Apparently not.

Elsewhere in the presentation Expedia noted that before it undertook its drive to simplify things it had more than 10 competing brands, five loyalty programs, more than 10 checkout experiences, and “siloed data lakes.”

In the interim, Expedia Group has made a splash consolidating many of these teams, and shedding brands including Egencia, SilverRail, Alice, Classic Vacations, and Expedia Local Expert. Not to mention BodyBuilding.com, which Expedia acquired when it bought Liberty Expedia Holdings.

The goal is “to build a single tech platform,” the presentation said.

We’ve heard Expedia talk of building a solitary tech platform for many years under prior regimes, but it seemingly never happened.

Business Travel

American Express Global Business Travel To Debut on Tuesday — Interesting Factoids

1 month ago

It’s a holiday weekend in the U.S. so what better time to break up the monotony of barbecues and beach, and burrow into a Securities and Exchange Commission filing about the pending SPAC debut Tuesday of American Express Global Business Travel.

Among the takeaways:

  • The merger of Apollo Strategic Growth Capital and Amex GBT will see Amex GBT’s existing investors, including American Express, Certares, and Expedia Group, among others, controlling 74 percent of the voting power. They’ll have the power to make all of the big decisions, including board of director composition.
  • Global Business Travel Group, as the company will be formally called, will be considered to be controlled by American Express Co., and will be regulated by the U.S. Federal Reserve. As Skift previously reported, Global Business Travel Group can continue doing business as American Express Global Business Travel because of an 11-year trademark pact.
  • Only 15 percent of the company’s stock is expected to be owned by public shareholders.
  • Egencia, which Amex GBT acquired from Expedia Group in November 2021, did $8.4 billion in transactions in pre-pandemic 2019. Expedia Group traditionally disclosed revenue for its corporate segment, but not total transaction value for Egencia. That $8.4 billion would have amounted to roughly 8 percent of Expedia Group’s gross bookings that year.
  • The Egencia business was therefore a significant volumes chunk of Expedia Group, which sold Egencia during a huge business travel downturn in a drive to simplify Expedia’s overall operation. At any rate, Expedia Group got a 13 percent stake in Amex GBT because of the deal.
  • Ovation Travel, which Amex GBT acquired in January 2021, was tiny compared with Egencia in total transaction value, $1.2 billion for Ovation versus $8.4 billion for Egencia.
  • Amex GBT CEO Paul Abbott had 2021 total compensation of $18.4 million compared with $5 million a year earlier.

Tuesday’s stock market coming out party for Amex GBT, trading under the stock symbol GBTG, should be an interesting one to watch in terms of investor confidence in the future of managed business travel.

Online Travel

Expedia CEO’s Total Compensation Pegged at $296 Million for 2021

2 months ago

Expedia Group Vice Chairman and CEO Peter Kern’s 2021 total compensation was $296 million.

That includes $157 million in stock awards and $137 million in option awards. His salary was around $850,000. The stock and option awards represent the fair value at the grant date, and won’t necessarily be the actual value when the awards vest.

Kern’s total compensation in 2021 compared with $53.9 million for Booking Holdings’ Glenn Fogel, $7.67 million for Tripadvisor’s Steve Kaufer, and $132,000 for Airbnb’s Brian Chesky.

Chesky had a nice pay day — on paper like Kern’s — for 2020, namely $120 million, and Kaufer’s total compensation announced in 2013 was $39 million.

Kern became Expedia Group CEO during the early days of the pandemic in April 2020. He has been vice chairman since 2018, and a board member since 2005.

When it comes to the ratio of the CEO’s salary to median employee compensation, excluding the CEO’s compensation, at each company, Expedia’s was 2,897 to 1; Booking’s was 931 to 1; Tripadvisor’s was 76 to 1; and Airbnb’s was .65 to 1.

The total compensation amounts were included in proxy statements last month.

Online Travel CEO Compensation 2021

CEOCompanyTotal CompensationRatio
Peter KernExpedia$296,000,0002,897 to 1
Glenn FogelBooking Holdings$53,900,000931 to 1
Stephen KauferTripadvisor$7,670,00076 to 1
Brian CheskyAirbnb$132,000.65 to 1

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