Former Shopping.com CEO and eBay executive with deep e-commerce, marketing and advertising expertise set to position LivingSocial for growth in evolving market
WASHINGTON, July 15, 2014—LivingSocial today announced that Gautam Thakar will be joining the company as its new Chief Executive Officer and President. He will assume the role previously held by Tim O’Shaughnessy, who announced earlier this year his intention to step down.
“We knew we wanted a new CEO with the ability to drive the business forward with energy, vision and deep e-commerce knowledge. 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,” stated O’Shaughnessy.
Thakar joins LivingSocial from eBay Inc., where he has spent over a decade in general management and leadership roles. As CEO of Shopping.com (an eBay acquisition), he drove the transformation to a data-driven, demand-generating advertising business, which he leads in his current role as GM for eBay’s overall Advertising business. Previously, he served as the head of International Marketing for eBay and as country manager of eBay India. Gautam joined eBay when it acquired India’s leading ecommerce startup which he helped scale in his role as CMO. Thakar started his career in brand management at Procter & Gamble in Asia.
“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. “He was the unanimous selection of the Board of Directors after a comprehensive search.”
“LivingSocial is well-positioned to play a growing role in demand generation for both local and national merchants,” stated Gautam Thakar. “This is a huge opportunity that will be realized by delighting consumers with personalized services and experiences at great prices. I am excited to join LivingSocial at this important chapter in its journey and help build on all the accomplishments that Tim and the team have achieved so far.”
Thakar will transition to his new role by mid-August and O’Shaughnessy, one of the original founders of the company, will remain as an advisor to LivingSocial to assist with the transition.
LivingSocial has made significant strides forward in the past six months and has executed its strategic refocusing to concentrate on marketplace innovation, product development and marketing as it evolves its core platform beyond daily deals. Earlier this month, LivingSocial introduced new consumer personalization and customized services for its merchant partners to help them to better align their LivingSocial promotions with their overall marketing strategies.