A key figure at Expedia will take over as CEO of hostel-focused online booking platform Hostelworld Group after incumbent Feargal Mooney announced his intention to step down.

Mooney, who has been with the group for 16 years and served as CEO for the last decade, will leave following the Dublin-headquartered firm’s AGM on Monday 11th June.

Expedia’s head of retail operations Gary Morrison will take over. He has held a number of positions at the travel giant over the last seven years, including leading its EMEA region, and also worked at Google and Motorola.

"Feargal has been speaking with me and the board about his plans for the long term and consequently some months ago we focused our attentions on succession to facilitate an orderly transition,” said Hostelworld chairman Michael Cawley.

“We are delighted to appoint a candidate of Gary's calibre and experience to succeed Feargal.

“Gary's experience of the travel industry together with his track record of growth in an online marketing business make him an ideal choice to drive the business forward and deliver on our ambitious goals.

“The board would like to express its profound appreciation to Feargal for his stellar contribution to the group over the last 16 years. His role in Hostelworld's development has been crucial and undoubtedly Hostelworld wouldn't occupy its pre-eminent position in the market were it not for Feargal's commitment and leadership.

“He leaves behind a business with significant competitive advantages and momentum. We wish him every success in his future endeavours."

Mooney said: "Leading Hostelworld from start-up to PLC has been a real honour and I've loved every step along the way.

“It has been, and continues to be, a really fun and interesting business, and I've had the privilege of working with some enormously talented and supportive people over the years I've been here.

“After sixteen years developing the business, ten as chief executive, I believe that a change will be good for me personally and for Hostelworld.”

Morrison said: "I'm honoured and grateful to the board for the opportunity to lead this exceptional business.

“The Hostelworld Group has been very successful at delivering social travel experiences for almost 19 years, and I am looking forward to working with the Hostelworld team, the board, hostellers and our partners to deliver the next phase of growth.”