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Hostelworld Grp PLC (HSW)

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Monday 14 May, 2018

Hostelworld Grp PLC

CEO Succession

RNS Number : 8906N
Hostelworld Group PLC
14 May 2018





Hostelworld Group plc

("Hostelworld" or the "Group")


CEO Succession



Monday, May 14, 2018 - Hostelworld, the world's leading hostel-focused online booking platform today announces that, after 16 years with the Group and 10 years as Chief Executive Officer, Feargal Mooney will step down as CEO and director effective Monday, 11th June after the Company's AGM. Following a thorough and rigorous search process, the Board is pleased to announce that Gary Morrison will become the Group's new CEO and director also immediately after the AGM.


Gary joins the Group from Expedia where for the last seven years he served in a number of roles, most recently as Head of its Retail Operations. Prior to that he headed up Expedia's EMEA region presiding over a period of considerable and sustained growth. Prior to Expedia, Gary worked with Google and Motorola.


Feargal joined Hostelworld Group 16 years ago, shortly after it was established. He has served as Chief Operations and Finance Officer and, since 2008, as Chief Executive. During that time he has made a singular contribution to the Group's development, initially in private ownership, before transitioning to private equity and finally steering the Company to a successful IPO in 2015. He has led the globalisation of the business including the development of offices in Shanghai, Seoul and Sydney. He has been one of the leading campaigners for the hostel industry during his time as Chief Executive.


Michael Cawley, Chairman of Hostelworld commented: "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. We are delighted to appoint a candidate of Gary's calibre and experience to succeed Feargal. Gary's experience of the travel industry together with his track record of growth in an online marketing business make him an ideal choice to drive the business forward and deliver on our ambitious goals.


The Board would like to express its profound appreciation to Feargal for his stellar contribution to the Group over the last 16 years. His role in Hostelworld's development has been crucial and undoubtedly Hostelworld wouldn't occupy its pre-eminent position in the market were it not for Feargal's commitment and leadership. He leaves behind a business with significant competitive advantages and momentum. We wish him every success in his future endeavours."


Feargal Mooney commented: "Leading Hostelworld from start-up to PLC has been a real honour and I've loved every step along the way. It has been, and continues to be, a really fun and interesting business, and I've had the privilege of working with some enormously talented and supportive people over the years I've been here. After sixteen years developing the business, ten as Chief Executive, I believe that a change will be good for me personally and for Hostelworld. I am proud to have been a part of bringing Hostelworld this far and in particular to have progressed the key strategic pillars which formed the basis of our stock market flotation in 2015. I am delighted to hand over to Gary Morrison to whom I extend my congratulations, and I am confident that Gary and the team will lead Hostelworld to even greater levels of success in the years ahead."


Gary Morrison commented: "I'm honoured and grateful to the Board for the opportunity to lead this exceptional business. The Hostelworld Group has been very successful at delivering social travel experiences for almost 19 years, and I am looking forward to working with the Hostelworld team, the Board, Hostellers and our partners to deliver the next phase of growth".


Gary Morrison will be appointed as a Director immediately after the Company's AGM on 11 June 2018.  There is no information to disclose under LR 9.6.13 R of the UK Listing Authority's Listing Rules in respect of Gary Morrison's appointment.




This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of EU Regulation 596/2014. 



For further information please contact:


Hostelworld Group plc                                                        

Feargal Mooney, Chief Executive Officer                                   +353 (0) 1 498 0700                             

Michael Cawley, Chairman                                                         +353 (0) 1 498 0700                       


Powerscourt                                                                             [email protected]

Lisa Kavanagh                                                                           + 44 (0) 20 7250 1446

Selene Alford/Jack Hickey                                                         +353 87 642 88 44 / + 353 83 4488 339



At the Company's Annual General Meeting convened for 11 June 2018, the Chairman will seek the consent of shareholders to withdraw the resolution to re-elect Feargal Mooney as a director of the Company.


About Hostelworld Group


Hostelworld Group is the world's leading hostel-focused online booking platform. Connecting travellers with hostels around the world, Hostelworld offers more than ten million customer reviews across 36,000 properties in more than 170 countries, making the brand the leading online hub for social travel. The website operates in 19 different languages and mobile app operates in 13 different languages.


Hostelworld travellers are a unique, passionate breed; they want to see the world, make new connections and crave the adrenaline of new adventures. Hostelworld inspires them to 'Meet the World' through the social nature of hostels that turbo-charges their journeys and helps create unforgettable memories. 


Headquartered in Dublin, Hostelworld has offices around the world in London, Porto, Seoul, Shanghai and Sydney with approximately 290 employees. The Hostelworld Group listed on the main London and Irish stock exchanges in November 2015.



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