Stephen Kaufer, the cofounder and chief executive of Tripadvisor, will step down from his role in 2022, company officials announced on Monday. The search for his successor is underway.
Kaufer, who cofounded the Needham-based travel technology company in 2000, said it is time for a change.
“Given our strong position, the talented teams driving our plans forward, and after over 20 years at Tripadvisor, I believe now is the best time to announce my plans to step away from the company next year,” he said in a statement. “I have such respect and appreciation for all the teams over the years who have made this company what it is today.”
Kaufer will remain CEO until his replacement is appointed.
Over the past 20 years, Kaufer grew Tripadvisor into a travel search and listings company with a $4.7 billion market capitalization. During the pandemic, as the coronavirus dealt severe blows to the travel industry, the company adapted, updating its app and website, along with adding new travel offerings for its consumers.
Greg Maffei, chairman of the company’s board, lauded Kaufer’s service. “Steve has been the driving force at Tripadvisor since its launch in 2000,” he said. “His contributions to the consumer’s travel experience are immeasurable, and his vision has resulted in the Tripadvisor we know today.”
The company said it has “excellent” internal candidates in consideration, and will also look externally.