LivingSocial announced the replacement of co-founder and CEO Tim O'Shaughnessy with eBay general manager Gautam Thakar on July 15. O'Shaugnessy's departure has been anticipated since early in the year when he announced that he would be stepping down on LivingSocial's blog.
Thakar spent more than a decade serving in general management and leadership roles at eBay, including a position as CEO of Shopping.com, an eBay acquisition he helped transform into a data-driven, demand-generating advertising business, according to a company statement. He currently acts as GM of eBay's overall advertising business and previously served as head of international marketing for eBay as well as country manager of eBay India. Thakar began his career at Procter & Gamble in Asia before helping to scale India's leading e-commerce startup as its CMO. He joined eBay when the company acquired that same startup.
"We knew we wanted a new CEO with the ability to drive business forward with energy, vision and deep e-commerce knowledge," said O'Shaugnessy, who will remain as an advisor to LivingSocial as it transitions. "The board and I met with a number of exceptional candidates, and we all believe that Gautam is the perfect fit for the future of LivingSocial."
Thakar will assume his new role by mid-August as the company continues to execute a strategic refocusing on marketplace innovation, product development and marketing, evolving its core platform beyond daily deals. LivingSocial introduced new consumer personalization and customized services earlier this month to assist merchant partners in aligning their LivingSocial promotions with their overall marketing strategies.
LivingSocial recently selected a new chief revenue officer, and Thaker's arrival may signify a last-ditch effort to reverse feeble financial trends for the company by guiding its new marketing initiatives and facilitating adaptation to the rapidly changing consumer climate. Press release