- Kevin Hu, the head of finance for online hotel metasearch site Trivago N.V., will step into the company’s interim CFO seat before company alum Robin Harries returns to act as permanent finance chief in April, according to a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
- The Dusseldorf, Germany-based company announced in October that its CFO Matthias Tillmann would be stepping down from his seat “to pursue other interests,” after a four-year turn in the seat with Harries tapped as successor, according to a company press release. Tillmann was originally slated to remain in the seat until March 2024 to ensure a smooth transition, but instead will be departing Dec. 31, according to the company filing.
- Hu will serve in the role in an interim capacity starting Jan. 1, 2024 until March 31, with Harries to step in as permanent finance chief effective April 1.
The company designated Harries as a temporary member of its management board also effective as of April 1, according to the filing. A previous alum of the company, Harries first joined Trivago in 2012 when fellow travel and hotel booking service Expedia Group acquired a 63% stake in the business, according to an October press release.
He served a variety of roles during his prior six-year tenure with the organization, including as its global head of brand marketing and was an instrumental part of the team leading Trivago’s initial public offering in 2016, according to his LinkedIn profile. Harries currently serves as a member of the board for German telecommunications company 1&1 Telecommunication SE.
Hu, who joined the company in 2017, previously served as Trivago’s head of financial reporting from March 2021 until October 2023, at which point he became head of finance, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Hu will be taking point on Trivago’s rotating financial leadership at a time when more companies are beginning to consider the potential benefits of interim executives in key roles including the CFO and controller; requests for on-demand finance chiefs rose 103% year-over-year according to a previous report by CFO Dive. Interim CFOs can be crucial to guiding companies through a period of transition and are often tapped by companies to achieve a specific goal or solve a particular problem, experts previously told CFO Dive.
While Hu’s interim leadership will last a span of months, taking an interim position can also be a path to a permanent role; companies such as Hertz and SelectQuote are among those who have recently tapped their interim finance chiefs for a permanent gig.
Hu is also taking Trivago’s financial reins as the company struggles to regain lost ground; rising prices in average room rates as well as other ongoing economic headwinds contributed to lowered financial expectations for the hotel search company, according to its most recent quarterly results.
The company reported €157.9 million in revenue for its third quarter ending Sept. 30, a 14% decline compared to the €183.7 million reported for the prior year period, according to its earnings results released Nov. 2. It also reported a net loss of €182.6 million for the quarter, a 172% jump from the prior year period, a loss which was “primarily driven by a cumulative impairment charge of €196.1 million in connection with our annual indefinite-lived intangible asset and goodwill impairment analysis,” Trivago said.
In September, the company announced a renewed focus on its brand marketing strategy due to expectations of slumping profitability for its fiscal 2023. Trivago no longer “expects to exceed adjusted EBITDA of €70 million in 2023,” it said. For the nine months ending Sept. 30, the company reported adjusted EBITDA of €46.8 million, compared to €84.8 million for the same period in 2022.
Expedia Group, which also reported its Q3 earnings results on Nov. 2, reported revenues from its Trivago segment — which are classed as non-US point of sale, according to the company — hit $115 million for the quarter compared to $124 million in the prior year period. The figure represents approximately 3% of the company’s record total revenues of $3.9 billion for the quarter.
Trivago did not immediately respond to request for comment.