Sunday 27 May 2018

Hostelworld chief Mooney checks out

Feargal Mooney
Feargal Mooney
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

The veteran CEO of online booking firm Hostelworld, Feargal Mooney, is to leave the company next month.

Mr Mooney, who has been with Hostelworld for 16 years and been its chief executive for the past decade, said he wanted a change after holding a number of executive roles at the business.

He'll be succeeded by Gary Morrison. He's joining from Expedia, where he has worked for the past seven years, most recently as its head of retail operations. Before that, he was in charge of Expedia's EMEA region. He has also previously worked with Google and Motorola.

Mr Mooney joined Hostelworld soon after it was founded. He also previously served as its chief operations and finance officer. He was in charge at the company when it floated on the stock market in 2015. It has a market capitalisation of €432m.

"After 16 years developing the business, 10 as chief executive, I believe that a change will be good for me personally and for Hostelworld," he said.

Hostelworld chairman Michael Cawley, the former Ryanair chief operating officer, welcomed the appointment of Mr Morrison.

"Feargal has been speaking with me and the board about his plans for the long term and consequently some months ago we focused our attentions on succession to facilitate an orderly transition," said Mr Cawley.

Hostelworld notched up 7.5 million bookings last year, with its net revenue rising 8pc to €86.7m. It posted adjusted profit after tax of €21.7m in 2017, which was 12pc higher than in 2016.

The company had free cash flow - a key measure of a company's financial performance - of €21.5m last year, giving the group a €21.3m cash balance.

Irish Independent

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