LivingSocial Poaches New CEO, Gautam Thakar, From eBay
After six months of searching, LivingSocial has found what could be its biggest deal yet: a new CEO.
The Washington, D.C.-headquartered daily deals site has tapped eBay executive Gautam Thakar to serve as its next president and CEO. Thakar will succeed the company’s founder, Tim O’Shaughnessy, who announced his intention to step down in January.
Thakar, who most recently served as CEO of eBay’s Shopping.com property, as well general manager of its overall advertising business, will transition into his new role in August.
O’Shaughnessy, who co-founded LivingSocial in 2007 and still owns a major share of the company, will continue to serve as an advisor to Thakar throughout the transition.
“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,” said Tige Savage, a member of LivingSocial’s board of directors.
Thakar’s arrival comes on the heels of hard times for LivingSocial, which last year shuttered several offices and laid off hundreds of employees across the country.
The company has also been experimenting with different business models that moved beyond daily deals into longer-term promotions.
But the picture today is looking slightly brighter, LivingSocial said. The company reported net earnings of $177 million in the first quarter of 2014 -- compared to a $45 million loss in Q1 of 2013.