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With declining revenue, struggling Schibsted-owned horizontal Blocket is looking for a new CEO after Jan Prokopec (LinkedIn profile) was forced to leave in September 2018.

For Blocket chairman and current interim CEO Anders Skoe (LinkedIn profile) — the marketplace head of Schibsted and CEO of Finn in Norway — it may be a case of too many qualified candidates willing to take on the challenge.

Anders Skoe

In an email to the AIM Group, Skoe said: “The position has attracted an impressive quality and quantity of candidates. More than  300 individuals have been involved in the process. This is a high number for this type of position, and really speaks to Blocket’s strong brand and position.”

The horizontal’s new general manager will be announced this quarter.

Skoe has been busy since stepping into the temporary position.

“I have focused my time at Blocket on getting to know the Swedish market better, including meeting with customers and partners. I have also gotten to know the organization and the people at Blocket — and am impressed with both the level of competency at Blocket and the potential in the business. We’ve started to identify the best ways for Blocket and Finn.no to collaborate, both on the technical side and on the commercial side. The pace of development at Blocket is accelerating, and launches such as the integration of Swish (an app-based payment provider in Sweden) and the “buy online” button for certain used cars are good examples of this.”

For Black Friday, the site ran a campaign focused on cheap listings priced at for SEK10 ($1.12 U.S.), focused around the circular economy and reduced consumption of new goods. There is speculation that the platform will make private ads in household categories free as Finn.no has been doing since Facebook Marketplace entered the classified business in 2015.

Blocket, which lost 5 percent of its revenue in Q3 2018 because of stiff competition in the car space and declining digital display advertising, is not following the Norwegian example. ‘There are no current plans to introduce a freemium model at Blocket. That said, we will continue to experiment with our pricing structure,” Skoe said.

A major difference between the two countries is that Schibsted-owned app Shpock is active and offers free private ads in Sweden. The app is no longer active on the Norwegian market.