Aman Bhutani, the veteran Expedia Group business and tech leader who oversees online travel businesses including Travelocity, Orbitz and the flagship Expedia brand, is leaving the company to pursue another opportunity, GeekWire has learned.
The departure of the Brand Expedia Group president comes amid a series of organizational and executive changes across the broader Expedia Group, designed to help travel giant’s brands take better advantage of the larger company’s scale.
“It is hard to capture in words the incredible impact Aman has had here over the years — as a technology leader, as the leader of Brand Expedia Group and as a thought leader across Expedia Group. We are so grateful for Aman’s contribution to Expedia Group and wish him well in his new endeavor,” said Mark Okerstrom, Expedia Group CEO and president, in an emailed statement.
No word yet on what’s next for Bhutani, who has been with the company nine years and became president in 2015 under then-CEO Dara Khosrowshahi. We’ve reached out to Bhutani for comment on his departure and plans for the future.
“Whenever you make a leadership change, you want to make it from a position of strength,” Khosrowshahi said at the time of Bhutani’s appointment, adding that he “has been a really effective technology and general leader, and he really has respect across the company.”
Bhutani was previously chief technology officer of Brand Expedia and made his mark as senior vice president of worldwide engineering. He was known for establishing a data-driven, “test and learn” culture in the company’s global tech team. Bhutani also played a key role in the company’s integrations of acquired companies such as Orbitz, Wotif and Travelocity.
Bhutani is a member of the Innovation Advisory Council for the city of Seattle and serves on the board of directors for The New York Times Company
In a GeekWire profile from 2016, Bhutani said he aimed to emulate the work style of chef Jiro Ono, the subject of the film Jiro Dreams of Sushi. “Jiro is a shokunin, and his simple goal is to come in every day and make better sushi than yesterday. My goal in life is to come in every day and be a better person than I was yesterday. I believe that will make me a better leader,” Bhutani said.
In addition to Bhutani’s departure, Expedia is in the midst of broader organizational changes that will establish three new organizational groups overseen by current e-commerce president Tucker Moodey; Vrbo president John Kim; and president of lodging partner services Cyril Ranque. A company spokesperson declined to say what those groups will be.
On an earnings call yesterday, Okerstrom explained that the company is “increasingly unlocking opportunities to cross-sell between brands.” He gave the example of Vrbo customers renting cars from Expedia and the sharing of technology used for hotel reviews across brands.
“These are just the tip of the iceberg. We have many other opportunities to drive customer and partner-facing innovation and increase operating efficiency by better leveraging the scale of our platform across Expedia Group,” Okerstrom said on the call. “To that end, we’ve recently begun a design process with the goal of realigning certain teams across the company to enable them to better execute on this platform approach. All of these efforts are squarely aimed at driving better customer and partner experiences as well as stronger long-term growth and value creation.”
Expedia Group beat analysts’ expectations with $183 million in profits in the second quarter on revenue of $3.15 billion, up 9 percent. Based in Bellevue, Wash., the company is moving to a new headquarters on the Seattle waterfront later this year.