LivingSocial PulseCheck: eBay Exec Named Company’s New CEO
An ongoing series monitoring the fluctuating pulse of D.C.'s online coupon company LivingSocial
The still-alive LivingSocial announced today that Gautam Thakar, a longtime eBay executive, would be its next CEO.
Thakar is currently the general manager for eBay’s overall advertising business, and will take over the top post of the D.C.-based company from Tim O'Shaughnessy, one of LivingSocial's co-founders who announced in January that he would step down.
The company said O'Shaughnessy decided to leave of his own accord and will stay on as CEO until Thakar transitions into the new role in mid-August.
Thakar definitely has some challenges to confront at LivingSocial, a once-popular service that has struggled to reinvent itself as online coupon companies have declined in popularity.
At the end of 2012, the company laid off around 400 employees. In 2013, it received $110 million in investments (about half from Amazon), but it also posted some big quarterly losses. (Washington City Paper also sells daily deals.) And if Thakar wants the company to collect on the $33 million in city tax breaks the D.C. Council approved, he needs to employ 1,000 people in the District by 2015, hire an additional 50 people each year after that, and build a new office in the District of at least 200,000 square feet.
"Gautam’s consumer-centric mindset, strong marketing expertise and track record as a successful executive are ideally suited to position LivingSocial for expansion during this exciting time in the evolution of online commerce and advertising," Tige Savage, a member of LivingSocial’s board of directors, said in a press release. “He was the unanimous selection of the Board of Directors after a comprehensive search.”
Photo by Darrow Montgomery.