Brain Sharples, president and CEO at HomeAway, announced today his resignation from the company he co-founded 12 years ago, took public in 2011, and sold to Expedia in November 2015.
The news came as a surprise to vacation rental managers who last week attended Rezfest, HomeAway Software’s user conference, which ended on Friday. It was expected that Sharples would remain at the helm for a full year after the purchase.
He will be replaced by John Kim, HomeAway’s current chief e-commerce officer, who will lead the company as President.
In a letter to customers, Sharples wrote, “While it’s never easy to hand over the reins of something you built, I believe now is the right time to empower the next generation of leadership to take HomeAway to new heights. John is already an incredible driving force for the growth of our company. I’m very comforted in knowing we have someone of his caliber with rich experience in product development and innovation to lead our mission and strategy.”
Sharples continued, “As the vacation market grows, so does the expectation of customers to have a superior online experience. John’s proven ability to transform web and mobile sites will help HomeAway build the right customer experience to attract even more travelers to your properties.”
Sharples will continue to serve as chairman until January.