Expedia Group chairman, Barry Diller, has named Peter Kern as the company’s new chief executive officer, following the departure of Mark Okerstrom last December. The move comes today alongside the news of a USD 3.2 billion capital raise to secure the business’ financial strength.
“We have one mandate – to conserve cash, survive, and use this time to reconstruct a stronger enterprise to serve the future of travel. We are unable to make any predictions as to when travel will rebound but we emphatically believe that it will, because if there’s life, there’s travel,” Diller said.
“Kern has been a key member of our board since 2005 and became our vice chairman in 2018,” he said. “When we changed management in December, Kern joined with me in operational supervision of the company. In these last five months, he has shown outstanding leadership in all aspects of the business, first in a wide re-organisation and then dealing with the impact of the Corona virus crisis on our business.”
In other moves to ensure the business survives, Diller said the chairman, chief executive officer and members of the board will forgo cash compensation for the remainder of the year, while senior executives will be taking a reduction in salary of 25% for the balance of the year. The company was also implementing furloughs and reduced work week programmes for select volume-based teams with limited work right now, he said.