In a surprise move, Booking.com chairwoman Gillian Tans has extended her employment contract to 2021, a year longer than expected, Skift has learned.
The move comes as Amsterdam-based Booking.com declined to apply for an extension of Dutch government relief, a move that likely means layoffs are coming.
“Our decision not to apply for an extension of the Dutch government support is rooted in the fact that as we continue to look at what we need to do to get through this crisis, short-term adjustments alone will likely not be enough to ensure our business is sized and structured for the new reality of substantially reduced travel demand,” said Booking Holdings spokeswoman Leslie Cafferty.
TANS HAD BEEN DUE TO DEPART
Tans transitioned from Booking.com CEO to its chairwoman on June 26, 2019 when Booking Holdings CEO Glenn Fogel took on the additional role of Booking.com boss, and Tans’ contract was due to expire June 30, 2020.
But Tans, who’s been working on several projects for the company, came to terms with Booking to stay on as Booking.com chairwoman through 2021. The terms of her contract extension have not yet been made public.
BOOKING.COM LEADERSHIP NO LONGER AS DUTCH
Tans, who is Dutch, as were the early leaders of Booking.com, decided to remain at the flagship business unit as its leadership is getting increasingly diversified — meaning less Dutch.
Pipijn Rijvers, head of accommodation at Booking.com and former chief marketing officer, is in the process of transitioning out of the company.
“After more than 11 years with the company, Pepijn will be shifting into a strategy role to help advise Glenn and the leadership team as we begin to emerge from the crisis and shape the business for the future travel environment,” Cafferty said. “Eventually he plans to move on from Booking to spend more time with his family, but for now he’s still working alongside Glenn and leadership.”
That would leave only Chief Product Officer David Vismans and Tans as the only remaining Dutch in leadership at Booking.com. This isn’t necessarily a negative and reflects the global nature of the business unit. The other executives are from Brazil, the United States, Argentina, the UK, Spain and France.
In other restructuring moves at Booking.com, it has shuttered several elements of its BookingSuite product offering for hotels. The discontinued features include WebDirect, BookingButton and RateIntelligence. There were a relatively small number of partners using these features, and Booking decided to focus efforts on core products during the Covid-19 recovery.
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