One week after announcing
he will retire from the company he co-founded and has led for 21 years,
Tripadvisor CEO Steve Kaufer took the stage
at The Phocuswright Conference 2021 on November 16.
But one bit of news he did not
share in his discussion with Phocuswright research director Alice Jong was that Tripadvisor
chief experience and brand officer Lindsay Nelson is also leaving the company
early next year.
According to the SEC filing dated
November 19, Tripadvisor originally presented Nelson with a separation
agreement on November 4 and, following two revisions, she signed it on Thursday
– two days after Kaufer’s appearance at the conference.
Given the date of Nelson's first separation letter, it’s unclear if the company
originally intended to announce the two departures together on November 8, but
Tripadvisor head of global communications and industry affairs Brian Hoyt says
the announcements of Nelson leaving and Kaufer resigning are “not related.”
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In the SEC filings, Tripadvisor
says Kaufer will “step down,” while Nelson’s departure is described as “a termination
of employment without Cause as of January 9, 2022.”
When asked for comment regarding Nelson’s
departure, Hoyt says via email: “Tripadvisor has an incredible market opportunity as
travel rebounds post-pandemic. Organizations evolve, especially fast-moving
Internet businesses like Tripadvisor, and executive departures occasionally
happen. Lindsay has created a lot of value over the last three years at
Tripadvisor, and she will undoubtedly leverage her talents elsewhere as she
transitions out early next year, and we wish her well.
Tripadvisor’s top areas of focus and opportunity as we move into 2022 and
beyond is working to further develop and grow our subscription businesses, such
as Tripadvisor Plus, and our high-growth experiences and dining offerings. We
will look to bring in leaders who can help us achieve these business objectives
as the company evolves.”
In his conversation on Center
Stage at The Phocuswright Conference, Kaufer explains why now is an appropriate
time for him to do something different, although he admits he has “no idea”
what that will be. He also explains why he is confident in Tripadvisor’s
future, what he is proud of – and what he would have done differently - in his
role as CEO and why the slate of candidates considered to replace him must be
Watch the full interview below.
Executive Interview: Tripadvisor - Steve Kaufer - The Phocuswright Conference 2021