Expedia ditches country focus in executive shake-up

Expedia Inc has announced a new structure “based around brands and technology rather rather than geographic regions”, a move which last week saw the departure of Expedia Europe boss Dermot Halpin and a promotion for David Roche.

A spokesperson explained that Halpin would stay on until the end of the year to oversee the transition to the new set-up, and that his role was effectively being made redundant under the new structure.

David Roche meanwhile has been promoted to president, hotels.com worldwide and venere.com, the Italian-based business Expedia acquired.

Under the former structure, Roche was senior VP for hotels.com and Expedia Distribution in EMEA, reporting into Halpin.

Moving forward, Eric Grosse will be in charge of the Expedia sites worldwide under the job title president, Expedia Worldwide. Responsibility for www.expedia.co.uk falls to Alex Zivoder, senior VP for Expedia’s developed markets.

Grosse will also be in charge of Expedia Media Solutions Group, the business which helps devise marketing campaigns on Expedia-branded web sites for hotels, airlines and tourist boards.

Henrik Kjellberg becomes president for Expedia Distribution Worldwide. This unit focuses on generating business through white-label and affiliate partnerships. Kjellberg retains his role as chairman of eLong, Expedia Inc’s majority owned Chinese OTA.

Finally, Expedia has announced that Paul Brown is also leaving the business to join Hilton Hotels Corp as president of global brands and shared services. His dual role at Expedia saw him as not only head of its Partner Services Group but also president for Expedia North America. The latter role, like Halpin’s, has been made redundant under the brand-led structure.

However, he will stay on during a brief transition period which will see Expedia Inc’s CEO and president, Dara Khosrowshahi, running the Partner Services Group until a replacement is found. It will consider internal and external candidates.

Expedia Inc’s other businesses – Trip Advisor, Egencia, Hotwire and Classic Vacations – are not affected by these changes.

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