Cogels replaces Rousseaux as CEO of Immoweb.be

15 Oct 2016

Valentin Cogels will take over as CEO of Belgium’s leading real estate site Immoweb.be tomorrow (Monday). He will replace Christophe Rousseaux (43), head of the site for the past eleven years, Axel Springer, owner of Immoweb, announced in a statement.

Valentin Cogels, CEO of Immoweb.be (photo from LinkedIn with thanks)

Valentin Cogels, CEO of Immoweb.be (photo from LinkedIn with thanks)

Rousseaux will, however, remain active in the company as executive vice president, board member and shareholder.

Cogels (LinkedIn profile here) holds an MBA from INSEAD. Prior to joining Immoweb, he worked at Koala, leading Swiss online retailer of shoes, and Victoria Company, purveyor of jewelry in Belgium and France. Cogels worked for four years in various roles at EBay, and prior to that at consulting companies KPMG, Thomson Financial, and Bain & Co.

Rousseaux was a long-time leader of Immoweb, having joined the company in 2000, and becoming CEO in 2005. He took over this role from his father, the founder of Immoweb. In 2012 he sold an 80-percent stake in Immoweb for €127.5 million ($176 million U.S.) to German media group Axel Springer.

Willy Faucon, key account manager of Immoweb, left the company in September (we reported here).

These managerial moves have to do with the shifting competitive landscape in Belgium. Immoweb, the undisputed online real estate leader since its creation, has been encountering stronger competitive pressure recently, as a handful of new real estate sites with interesting business models emerged in the country (we reported here).

On top of that, Belgian real estate agents rolled out their own website at Immoscoop.be. This new site was immediately joined by a group of leading real estate agencies, which turned their backs on Immoweb due to the high rates it charges for listings (we reported here).

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Anastasia Gnezditskaia

Anastasia Gnezditskaia is a writer / analyst covering France, Benelux and Morocco. Originally from Moscow and now based in Antwerp, Belgium, she has a background working for trade publications covering markets and their regulation. With a doctoral degree in political economy from Central European University, she taught graduate and undergraduate courses at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., where she lived for 10 years. Following this she managed international development projects in Africa at the World Bank, and worked as a journalist covering Congress, federal government agencies and financial markets, including energy futures in North America.