Expedia Group global comms head Sarah Gavin departs after more than a decade

Tiph Turpin will oversee all aspects of employee communications

Gavin has worked at Expedia for 11 years.

BELLEVUE, WA: Expedia Group SVP of global communications and corporate brand Sarah Gavin is leaving the company after 11 years.

Gavin, who headed comms globally for Expedia Group, did not comment on what her next move will be. She told PRWeek that she is excited for her next adventure and hopes to bring her business and tech learnings and passion for people and culture to her new team. 

“Across three CEOs, two years of back-to-back acquisitions, eleven summer travel seasons and caring for 15,000-plus global employees, I have had tremendous opportunities to develop as a communicator and leader at Expedia Group,” Gavin said via email. 

Gavin will not be directly replaced. Tiph Turpin, a 2021 PRWeek 40 under 40 honoree, will oversee all aspects of employee communications as Expedia Group’s VP of employee communications. She will report to Michael Davis Velasco, chief inclusion, diversity and people officer.  

VP of corporate comms Dave McNamee will now report to Lauri Metrose, SVP of global PR and social for Expedia Brands, to centralize all external communications for Expedia Group. 

“Bringing [McNamee’s] corporate communications practice together with the brand PR and social communications unlocks greater opportunities for more seamless and impactful storytelling that benefits the entire Expedia Group business,” said Metrose in an emailed statement. 

Gavin said that, as she contemplated leaving Expedia Group, it became “far easier to feel confident” that she was ready for it as McNamee and Turpin grew as leaders and Metrose joined the company, bringing with her “enormous talent and fresh perspective.” 

“I have no doubt their combined expertise and passion for our craft will take Expedia Group to the next level and I encourage them to look at the future as a blank space for them to make their own marks,” Gavin said.

In 2011, Gavin joined Expedia as communications head. She was promoted to her most recent position last year, following a centralization of employee comms in fall 2020.

“[Gavin] built an incredibly strong communications practice, comprising consumer, corporate and employee communications,” said Metrose. “In her position on the senior leadership team, she ensured communications was viewed as a strategic part of the business and had a lasting and broader impact on the company's culture.”

Expedia Group includes travel brands such as Vrbo, Orbitz, Hotwire, Trivago, Hotels.com and Egencia, in addition to flagship Expedia.com. The company retains Rubenstein at the corporate level, but each brand has its own PR agency partner.

Before joining Expedia, Gavin was VP at Waggener Edstrom for five years, where she worked with clients such as Microsoft Windows. Earlier in her career, she was a director at EnGenius Technologies.

Gavin was a PRWeek Hall of Femme 2020 honoree.

In Q2, Expedia Group’s revenue was $3.2 billion, up 51% year-over-year and up 1% compared to Q2 2019. Expedia Group’s gross bookings in Q2 came in at $26.1 billion, up 26% year-over-year.

Peter Kern, vice chairman and CEO of Expedia Group, said on an earnings call that travel demand has “remained strong.”

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