Expedia replaces CEO, CFO after fight over reorganization

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FILE - In this April 2, 2015, file photo Expedia's CFO and executive vice president for operations, Mark Okerstrom talks during a news conference at City Hall in Seattle. Expedia says its CEO and chief financial officer have quit, and Chairman Barry Diller will help run the travel company while it searches for permanent replacements. The company said Wednesday, Dec. 4, that the resignations of CEO Mark Okerstrom and CFO Alan Pickerill took effect immediately. (Steve Ringman/The Seattle Times via AP, File)

BELLEVUE, Wash. — Expedia says its CEO and chief financial officer have quit after clashing with the board over strategy, and Chairman Barry Diller will help run the travel company while it searches for permanent replacements.

The company said Wednesday that the resignations of CEO Mark Okerstrom and CFO Alan Pickerill took effect immediately.

Diller said a reorganization plan pushed by the departing executives was sound in concept but led to a loss of focus, disappointing earnings and a “lacklustre” short-term outlook. He said the board believes the company can grow faster in 2020.

Diller and Vice Chairman Peter Kern will manage day-to-day operations, and Chief Strategy Officer Eric Hart will be acting CFO.

Okerstrom joined Expedia in 2006, rose to CFO in 2011 and was named CEO in August 2017, when Dara Khosrowshahi left to become the CEO of Uber.

Expedia said the board also authorized the buyback of up to 20 million more shares on top of 9 million shares that can be repurchased under a previous decision.

Shares of Expedia Group Inc. rose $6.23, or 6.3%, to $105.62 in midday trading. At the close of trading Tuesday, the shares had lost 12% this year, and were pummeled after the company reported disappointing third-quarter results last month.

The Bellevue, Washington-based company runs travel sites including Expedia.com, Hotels.com and Travelocity.

The Associated Press

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