Celebrity Travel: Convoy hires former Expedia CEO as president and COO as digital freight startup tops 1k employees
Designate Okerstrom is transferring from shuttle and tourism to trucking, attempting to practice his digital commerce abilities to a brand fresh market.
The ragged Expedia Community CEO, who left the shuttle huge in an govt shakeup closing 365 days, is joining Convoy because the rapid-growing Seattle startup’s fresh president and chief working officer. Okerstrom will oversee Convoy’s finance, operations, marketing, provide and market enhance groups, working alongside CEO and co-founder Dan Lewis.
The announcement comes as Convoy tops 1,000 workers, five years after it changed into founded by Lewis and CTO Grant Goodale. Its digital network is love ride-sharing for freight, matching shippers with truck drivers that fetch readily accessible predicament. Convoy is one of a handful of privately-held corporations in the Seattle space valued at greater than $1 billion, raising $four hundred million at a $2.7 billion valuation in November.
In an interview with GeekWire, Okerstrom said he first learned about Convoy early in the firm’s historical previous, when he changed into Expedia’s chief monetary officer, sitting in the C-suite subsequent to then-Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi. Now the CEO of Uber, Khosrowshahi changed into an early Convoy investor.
That historical previous is amazingly relevant now: Uber competes with Convoy by its Uber Freight swap, so noteworthy that Khosrowshahi divested his stake in Convoy after he joined Uber, to manual away from a warfare of curiosity. Uber listed Convoy among its rivals in its IPO filing closing 365 days.
“I first started monitoring Conroy quickly after it started, as a result of Dara changed into an investor,” Okerstrom said. “He sat right beside me, and so we’d always focus on investments, investment solutions. And so I changed into true intrigued about what they had been doing.”
Convoy has raised $668 million over its lifetime from patrons together with Microsoft co-founder Invoice Gates; Amazon founder Jeff Bezos; Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff; Code.org founders Hadi and Ali Partovi; ragged Starbucks president Howard Behar; U2’s Bono and The Edge; among others.
One other Convoy investor is also acquainted to Okerstrom: Barry Diller, the Expedia Community chairman, who cited a incompatibility over approach and disappointing monetary results for the abrupt departures Okerstrom and CFO Alan Pickerill in December. That changed into sooner than the pandemic threw the shuttle market into a tailspin.
Okerstrom spent thirteen years at Expedia Community, which involves huge shuttle manufacturers comparable to Vrbo, Orbitz, HomeAway and Hotels.com besides to the flagship Expedia.com. After his departure from the Seattle-primarily primarily based firm, he changed into contemplating his subsequent steps when Lewis contacted him.
“Dan correct reached out at the right time; I had the background on the swap. I hadn’t worked in an earlier stage firm sooner than. And but there had been so many attention-grabbing parallels between what we had carried out at Expedia and the alternative sooner than Convoy. … I correct said, ‘I correct can’t circulation this up. It’s gonna be a blast.’ ”
Okerstrom said he changed into also drawn by the environmental advantages of growing fresh efficiencies in shipping.
At some corporations, hiring anyone with ride as a public firm CEO would foreshadow an initial public offering, but Lewis downplayed that thought.
“I don’t think that’s the first driver here,” Lewis said in step with the IPO question. “Must you had been to listen in on our leadership crew discussions, that’s not the ingredient that we’re spending our time spirited about straight away. It’s how will we make the correct swap and continue to encourage prospects in fresh ways.”
They’re spending time on expansion into fresh traces of swap. Lewis pointed to Convoy’s fresh launch of a rate carrier and gas card for carriers as early examples of the varieties of programs and initiatives the firm attempting to roll out. The premise, Lewis said, is to “truly take into account trucking across multiple modes, but then also commence to think, how will we originate the provision chain more atmosphere enough on your whole areas that overlap and work alongside with trucking.”
Lewis said the firm has show in Okerstrom “anyone that will presumably lend a hand us take into account what that future appears to be like to be like love … across multiple corporations, truly growing to encourage our prospects.”
The pandemic has been a curler-coaster for Convoy, causing wild volatility in provide chains. The firm says it seen build a matter to of for trucking surge in March and descend in April, sooner than rebounding to phases now forthcoming all-time highs.
The firm minimize a handful of positions early in the commercial downturn, primarily in recruiting, after it reduced its collection of originate roles for the 365 days. Nonetheless, Convoy continues to add workers, and it is in quest of to discover originate roles.
For the file, Okerstrom hasn’t worked in trucking sooner than, but he substances out that his wife’s uncles are truck drivers in his native Canada, correct in case that does the relaxation to burnish his swap credentials.
If and when Convoy expands there, he said, “I’ll be a family celeb.”