These managers will lead Schibsted Marketplaces

10 Oct 2017

In mid-September, Schibsted announced a major re-organization of the company into two divisions – one for all classifieds, and another for all publishing businesses  – with a separate structure providing support services to the two divisions. The divisions were called Schibsted Marketplaces, and Schibsted Media. Supporting services will be provided by Group Functions, it was said (our report here and here).

Roughly four weeks later, the new structure is now in place, and we can report who will be responsible for what in Marketplaces (here is the announcement on the corporate website).

Management team of Marketplaces

+ Sondre Gravir, new CEO and interim head of People and Internal Comms (ex-EVP Established Markets);

Sondre Gravir, CEO of the new division Marketplaces (photo from his LinkedIn page with thanks)

+ Renaud Bruyeron, responsible for Tech and Data (ex-VP Engineering Marketplaces);
+ Laila Dahlen, responsible for Product and UX (ex-CPO at FINN.no);
+ Susanna Grill, responsible for Strategy and Finance (ex-CFO Emerging Markets);
+ Antoine Jouteau, responsible for France, and continues as CEO of LeBonCoin;
+ Gianpaolo Santorsola, responsible for Mature Markets (ex-EVP of Emerging Markets);
+ Ovidiu Solomonov, responsible for Growth Markets and New Models (ex-VP Growth and Strategy for Established Markets);
+ Anders Skoe, responsible for Norway, and continues as CEO of Finn.no.

From now, it will be easier to think of Schibsted as two different companies – a classifieds business and a media business. Of course, this will help investors keep better track of the classifieds portfolio, which operates in more than 20 markets, with established brands, such as Finn in Norway, Blocket in Sweden and LeBonCoin in France. The division Marketplaces generated revenue of around NOK 6.8 billion in FY2016 and employs more than 3,000 people.

Management of Media

Schibsted Media consists of the publishing operations in Norway and Sweden, and the Growth companies, with names such as Lendo, Prisjakt, Let’s Deal and others. The division will have revenue of around NOK 9.5 billion (based on 2016 figures) and about 4,000 employees.

Martin Frey, responsible for Growth Companies in division Media (photo from his LinkedIn page with thanks)

The management team has 14 members and is headed by Raoul Grünthal as CEO. A well-known classified profile Martin Frey, former CEO of Blocket, is in the team and responsible for Growth Companies. These companies are – at least in the Nordic countries – run in close collaboration with the classified sites. For example, Lendo has until now been part of Finn in Norway.

Management of Group Functions

In addition to CEO Rolv Erik Ryssdal, the management team has four more members:
+ Rian Liebenberg, EVP chief technology officer and acting chief product officer;
+ Trond Berger, EVP chief finance officer;
+ Tina Stiegler, EVP people;
+ Lena K. Samuelsson, EVP communication, brand and public affairs.

Ryssdal has been CEO for eight years. This is his second, big organizational reshuffle in a fairly short time. The previous one was implemented in December 2015. This one will probably last longer. Most people already regard Schibsted as running two different businesses – classifieds, and publishing.

In Norway, there have been a few calls for the company to be broken into two parts, which has been blocked by the main owner – Tinius Trust.

The publishing unit (now Media division) seems to be what prevents the Schibsted share price from lifting on the Oslo Stock Exchange. At Schibsted.com (here), you can compare how the Schibsted share has performed this year against 15 other listed classifieds businesses around the globe.

Only New Zealand’s Trade Me performed worse to date.

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Lars Herlin

Lars Herlin is an AIM Group senior analyst for Europe, and our expert on Schibsted. He had a long career in journalism at Expressen, Svenska Dagbladet and VeckansAffärer, and served as managing editor and later managing director of Gotlands Allehanda.