Tripadvisor co-founder and long serving chief executive Stephen Kaufer is to step down in 2022.
The company’s board of directors has initiated an “open search” for his successor.
The announcement came as the company reported third quarter net profit of $1 million against a loss of $48million in the same period to September 30 last year as total revenues doubled to $303 million.
Kaufer said: “We are pleased to see a continued pick-up in consumer travel demand as borders open and vaccinations are more widely administered.”
He last week signed a letter of intent for Tripadivsor to engage in a promotional collaboration with French tourism development agency Atout France.
Kaufer co-founded Tripadvisor in 2000 to help travellers around the world plan and book trips.
The company has grown over the past 21 years into what is claimed to be the largest travel site in the world, with staff in more than 20 countries and operating localised travel sites in over 40 markets.
Kaufer was inducted into the British Travel & Hospitality Hall of Fame in 2015 and has won a number of awards for his entrepreneurship and leadership in the travel industry.
He said: “We come to the close of 2021 in a strong position – travellers are returning as we exit the pandemic, exciting new initiatives are well on their way, and we continue to leverage our strengths as we evolve Tripadvisor for the future.
“Given our strong position, the talented teams driving our plans forward, and after over 20 years at Tripadvisor, I believe now is the best time to announce my plans to step away from the company next year.
“I have such respect and appreciation for all the teams over the years who have made this company what it is today, and remain devoted to continuing to guide the Tripadvisor family as CEO until the transition is complete.”
Tripadvisor chairman Greg Maffei added: “Steve has been the driving force at Tripadvisor since its launch in 2000. His contributions to the consumer’s travel experience are immeasurable, and his vision has resulted in the Tripadvisor we know today.”
“We are fortunate to already have excellent internal candidates and we will complement this with an external search to ensure we get the best leader for Tripadvisor.
“We look forward to Steve’s continued guidance at the helm as we transition to Tripadvisor’s next exciting chapter.”