Mobile.de has appointed Ajay Bhatia, a veteran of online classifieds in Australia and Asia, as its new CEO.

The Germany-based automotive marketplace said that Bhatia (LinkedIn profile) had nearly two decades of executive leadership experience in the field, most recently as managing director of CarSales Australia.

The new CEO has extensive experience in the motors vertical, as well as across real estate, jobs and general classifieds, said Mobile.de, announcing the hire, with previous leadership roles covering general management, product, technology, sales and digital marketing.

“Ajay is ideally positioned to lead Mobile.de’s continued growth ambitions and will be a fantastic addition to the Adevinta executive team,” said Rolv Erik Ryssdal, CEO of Adevinta.

“We conducted an extensive search for a new CEO for Mobile.de, and we are confident that Ajay’s expertise in the classifieds industry, strong product and technology background, and track record of leading growth businesses will add value to Mobile.de, its users and the Adevinta group.”

Bhatia added, “I am excited to join Adevinta as CEO of Mobile.de. The Mobile.de team has done a tremendous job in building Germany’s number one online automotive marketplace, and I look forward to working closely with them to drive customer and commercial innovations to the business.”

A graduate of Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program, Bhatia holds an Engineering degree and a Masters in Management from the University of Technology, Sydney, said his new employer.

Named Australian CIO of the year in 2015 by CEO Magazine, he has also served on various boards across the public, private and non-profit sectors, and holds the honorary position of Adjunct Professor at UTS Business School.

Interim CEO Patricia Lobinger, whom the vertical said had advanced the business in the past six months, will continue in her role, working alongside the incoming CEO to “ensure a quick and seamless onboarding while defining her next assignment.”

“Patricia stepped up as CEO in the interim in times of change and demonstrated outstanding leadership, and we thank her for successfully driving Mobile.de forward,” added Ryssdal.

Adevinta-owned Mobile.de is the No. 1 automotive marketplace in Germany. The platform is used by 31,000 dealers, according to company data, namely two-thirds of all car dealers registered in the country.

It offers additional services such as financing, insurance and online advertising.

The vertical’s primary rival in Germany is AutoScout24.de, owned by U.S.-based private equity firm Hellman & Friedman.

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