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?
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.