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Vacation rental company Vacasa picks protege of Uber CEO to be next chief executive

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As Vacasa works to grow its share in the vacation rental market, the property management company is tapping longtime travel executive Rob Greyber to be its next CEO.

Greyber, who led Expedia‘s Egencia division from 2009 to 2020, will succeed current Chief Executive Matt Roberts, effective Sept. 6.

The leadership change comes two weeks after Vacasa reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings and raised its full-year guidance. The news sent the stock up 25% on the day. So far this year, the company’s shares are down about 42%. Its market cap is $2.07 billion.

Greyber said a weakening economy is proving to be a tail wind for Vacasa’s property management business as more people look to list their homes and make some extra cash. Greyber also said homeowners who switch to Vacasa from another vacation rental manager earn an average of 20% more per year.

He comes into the job with a big endorsement. Greyber was a protege of Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, who was the CEO of Expedia from 2005 to 2017.

“I very quickly saw Rob’s potential and ultimately promoted him to run Egencia, which was our corporate travel subsidiary,” Khosrowshahi told CNBC in a phone interview.

Under Greyber’s 11-year tenure at the helm of Egencia, Khosrowshahi said, the business “was all about bringing the power of technology to take corporate travel, which was still pretty high-touch and traditional, to move it forward to the same transformation that you saw online travel go through.”

Greyber, in turn, praised his former boss.

“I think one of the things he showed me as a leader as that you have to step back sometimes … the car goes where the eyes go, and even as you’re focused on the details and on the execution, making sure that you keep an eye on where you’re heading,” Greyber told CNBC in a phone interview.

He’ll have to apply that lesson as he takes the helm at Vacasa.

As a large property manager that offers services spanning from managing bookings to cleaning rentals, the ongoing labor shortage is widely seen as a challenge for the company.

When asked how he plans to navigate the tight jobs market, Greyber said, “it comes down to execution.”

TPG Pace Solutions took Vacasa public through a special purpose acquisition company in 2021. Since then, the company has had a volatile ride. While its shares are up 86% in the past month, the stock is still trading well below its IPO price at about $5 a share.

“There’s been pressure overall in the market over the last six to 12 months. My focus is going to be on the doing things that is going to create value in the long run,” Greyber said.

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