Viator founder slams TripAdvisor over strategy, saying Priceline's better suited
TripAdvisor's stewardship of the business - via a $200 million deal of buying Viator in 2014 - is taking the incorrect route and not capitalizing on the strength of the original brand.
TripAdvisor has been accused of neglecting its Viator tour and activity booking business by the man who created it in 1995.
Rod Cuthbert, Viator's founder, then CEO and latterly chairman until 2010, says TripAdvisor's stewardship of the business - via a $200 million deal in 2014 - is taking the incorrect route and not capitalizing on the strength of the original brand.
He says that TripAdvisor is "killing development on the [Viator] app" and forcing consumers to buy through the mothership's own product, a move that is "really counter-intuitive, and frankly wrong-headed".
But, unlike other acquisitions such as Jetsetter, Flipkey and Virtual Tourist, which were acquired and absorbed into the main business or scaled backed due to fairly low profiles in the marketplace, Viator should be "supported and celebrated", rather than rolled into TripAdvisor.
He argues that the Priceline Group model, with its acquisitions of Kayak or Booking.com, which are then let soar to "greater heights", would be better suited to Viator than the current strategy.
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