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Dara got bank: Expedia CEO with $95m 2015 windfall


By Doug Zanger, Americas Editor

May 3, 2016 | 2 min read

According to a company annual report filing last week and the Puget Sound Business Journal, Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi was paid around $95m in 2015. The Sorrellian amount is loaded with stock options, to the tune of $84m, that will vest as long as he stays with the Bellevue, Washington-based online travel company for around five-and-a-half years.

“Dara Khosrowshahi has been a transformational CEO,” said Sarah Gavin, a company spokeswoman to Bloomberg. “His leadership has elevated the company into a global leader in the online-travel market, and he continues to guide the organization along a growth trajectory that provides extraordinary value to investors and suppliers, as well as to customers and employees and the wider travel marketplace.”

The lofty numbers are also contingent upon the stock making its way to $170 per share by September 2020 — about 40 per cent of his stock options must make that benchmark. Morningstar indicated that the full compensation for key Expedia executives was north of $28m in total compensation in 2014, with Khosrowshahi, who took on the top role in 2004, accounting for more than $9.6m.

Expedia, planning a move to Seattle from its current suburban headquarters, had a big overall year, with several key acquisitions including Travelocity ($280m), Orbitz ($1.6bn and Expedia’s largest “traditional-platform” competitor) and HomeAway ($3.9bn, its largest-ever acquisition).

The company has also seen significant performance on Wall Street, with the company’s stock price going up 31 per cent between January and December 2015. At press time, the stock was trading at $116.52 per share. Expedia surprised experts by reporting a profit of 9 cents per share on $1.9bn revenue in the first quarter, as opposed to an expected loss of 6 cents per share on $1.84bn in revenue. Due to the acquisitions, the company had its strongest year-over-year growth, 39 per cent.

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