Shares of online travel company Expedia Inc.
tumbled 4% in early trade Monday, on news that Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi is to become next CEO of Uber. The news is “an incremental negative for Expedia, in our view, given Mr. Khosrowshahi’s hand in Expedia’s success to date,” SunTrust Robinson Humphrey analysts wrote in a note. “While such an outcome would create some near term leadership vacuum at the CEO level, we do not expect to see a material negative hit to the business’s performance given the deep executive bench and the organizational set-up of the company.” Khosrowshahi has held the role for more than a decade and is broadly credited with positioning the company as a leading player in its field. However, the business heads at its key units operate with some independence in day-to-day decision making, meaning the business is unlikely to see disruption, the analysts wrote. SunTrust views Chief Financial Officer Mark Okerstrom and Aman Bhutani, who is president of the brand, as front runners for the CEO spot. The former has been at Expedia since 2006, while the latter has been there for seven years. Shares have gained 26% in 2017, while the S&P 500
has gained 9%.