Schibsted bundles all classifieds in single division

19 Sep 2017

Schibsted re-organized its business into two operational divisions, labeled Marketplaces and Media, and will move IT workers from the erstwhile division Product and Technology to the two divisions.

The division Product and Technology won’t vanish completely, but most IT workers will be allocated to the two operational divisions Media and Marketplaces, the company said in a news release.

Until now, the company was organized in the following divisions: Online classifieds, Growth companies, Media house Norway, Media house Sweden, and the division Product and Technology.

The company expects the simpler structure to further increase the speed of development and help it to better leverage its local competencies to its businesses in more than 20 markets.

The overall goals of Schibsted remained unchanged: to be a global leader in online classifieds, to develop world-class media houses, and to develop new growth services.

“The online classifieds operations in Norway and Sweden, including Finn.no and Blocket.se, will join the Marketplaces division, together with all other online classifieds companies in the Schibsted portfolio,” the company said. 

We assume even the so-called investment stage classifieds (not yet breaking even), will also move to the division Marketplaces, which will have revenue of around NOK 6.8 billion (2016 numbers) and somewhat over 3,000 employees.

The Schibsted news release didn’t list all the brands to resort under Marketplaces, but we assume the following so-called established-phase brands will be there:

  • Norway: Finn.no
  • Sweden: Blocket.se, Bytbil.com, Servicefinder
  • France: Leboncoin.fr, MB Diffusion
  • Spain: Coches.net, Fotocasa.es, Vibbo.es, Milanuncios.com, InfoJobs.net, Habitaclia.com
  • Italy: Subito.it
  • Austria: Willhaben.at
  • Hungary: Hasznaltauto.hu
  • Malaysia: Mudah.my
  • Ireland: Adverts, Daft
  • Colombia: Fincaraiz

In addition, we assume the following classifieds will also fall under Marketplaces (we’ll confirm once we got feedback from Schibsted):

  • Schibsted-controlled classifieds marketplaces in Belarus, Belgium, Dominican Republic, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Mexico, Morocco, Portugal, Tunisia and the U.K..
  • Online classifieds marketplaces owned through joint ventures in Bangladesh, Brazil, Chile, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The Media division will consist of the publishing operations in Norway and Sweden (VG, Aftenposten, Stavanger Aftenblad, Bergens Tidende, Fædrelandsvennen, Aftonbladet and Svenska Dagbladet and Omni), plus the so-called Growth companies, such as Lendo, Prisjakt, and Let’s Deal. The division will have revenue of around NOK 9.5 billion (based on 2016 figures) and approximately 4,000 employees.

“Most of the employees in the current Schibsted Product & Technology unit will be moved into the business line divisions Media and Marketplaces, but there will also be some global product and tech functions on a Group level serving both divisions. Both divisions will consequently benefit from strong product and tech capabilities and be better equipped to move fast in highly competitive markets,” the company said.

The new organizational structure reminds of the one Germany’s very successful classifieds contender Axel Springer has been using for a few years now (with three operational divisions, namely classifieds, media, and marketing solutions, and a fourth division at HQ, which delivers services to the operating divisions).

“We must take full advantage of our local competence and strong brands across all our markets. A more simple organization will be able to move faster in the market. We are convinced that the adjusted organizational set-up will enable us to compete in the most effective manner going forward, and also to do an even better job for our users and customers,” said CEO Rolv Erik Ryssdal.

Schibsted has invested a lot of money and energy in enhancing its digital product and technology capabilities, and Ryssdal emphasized that product and technology development will remain a driving force in Schibsted’s future. The new organization will, however, integrate digital product development better in the business units. In turn, that’ll bring them closer to the users and make them more impactful in the local markets, the company said.

“The new organization will, however, integrate digital product development better in the business units. In turn, that’ll bring them closer to the users and make them more impactful in the local markets,” the company said.

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Christo Volschenk

Christo Volschenk is managing editor of the news on Aimgroup.com and our senior analyst covering Naspers. He brings more than 31 years of experience in business journalism to the team - the last 18 years focused on classifieds and e-commerce. Apart from working closely with the AIM Group, Christo is a freelance journalist, content manager, and copy editor. Before branching out on his own, he spent 15 years with Naspers in South Africa as journalist, economics editor and online project manager. He now spends most his day editing the news reported by 23 colleagues in 23 countries from his base in Stuttgart, Germany.