Why did Erik Segerborg leave Avito?

11 Oct 2017

To find Erik Segerborg (photo) heading up strategy and marketing at the Swedish classified site Hemnet came as a surprise to many who have followed his successes as an Avito manager. He first arrived in Russia in 2013. But, why did he come back to Sweden? We asked him.

Segerborg is the man behind Avito-owned real estate vertical Domufond.ru, one of the biggest real estate sites in Russia if not the biggest. He was also deputy CEO of Avito.ru. So, what pulled him back to Sweden?

Erik Segerborg, head of strategy and marketing at Hemnet in Sweden (photo from his LinkedIn page with thanks)

His girlfriend and a marriage planned for next year in July made him long so much for Sweden, that he decided to leave Avito and his top job in Russia, he told us. The wedding will take place in the town of Västervik, the hometown of Segerborg, which is beautifully situated on the east coast of Sweden facing a spectacular archipelago.

“It is too difficult to keep a long-distance relationship going (when you have to commute) back and forth between Stockholm and Moscow,” he told us.

He exited from Avito on a good footing with the two top dogs of Avito, Filip Engelbert and Jonas Nordlander. Segerborg said he will continue to work for Avito and will have an observer seat on the board without voting power.

“Had I chosen to stay at Avito, I might have been there for a very long time,” explained Segerborg, who left Moscow without having a new job in Stockholm.

But, it did not take long before Hemnet picked him up. Henrik Persson, one of the new owners of Hemnet, both privately and as a partner in Merro, was behind the recruitment. Segerborg knew him from the time when Persson sat on the board of Avito as a representative of Kinnevik.

Segerborg will not be CEO of Hemnet, even if he seems very qualified for that position. The position has already been filled by Cecilia Beck-Friis.

His new title is head of strategy and marketing, and he has only been in his new position for a few days. He sold his Avito shares, which he got as part of his remuneration package, and he invested part of that money in Hemnet. He also invested in TipTapp.

“That is a marketplace where you will find people to run errands for you,” explained Segerborg. Sounds like something for us to report on.

Segerborg holds an economics degree from the Stockholm School of Economics.

“There are few businesses where you can follow demand and supply so clearly as we do on a real estate site. That makes real estate verticals so fascinating,” he said in typical economist-speak.

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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.