LivingSocial Poaches eBay Exec Gautam Thakar To Be Its New CEO

LivingSocial is today announcing a new CEO and president, putting to rest a question mark that has hovered over the daily deals business for the last several months. Gautam Thakar, an eBay executive who had been CEO of and was most recently leading the company’s advertising business, is joining to head up the company, replacing co-founder Tim O’Shaunessy, who had announced his intention to step down once a replacement was found.

LivingSocial is well-positioned to play a growing role in demand generation for both local and national merchants,” said Gautam Thakar in a statement. “This is a huge opportunity that will be realized by delighting consumers with personalized services and experiences at great prices. I am excited to join LivingSocial at this important chapter in its journey and help build on all the accomplishments that Tim and the team have achieved so far.”

He will join by mid-August, and O’Shaughnessy will stay on as an advisor.

“We knew we wanted a new CEO with the ability to drive the business forward with energy, vision and deep ecommerce knowledge,” O’Shaughnessy said in a statement. “The Board and I met with a number of exceptional candidates, and we all believe that Gautam is the perfect fit for the future of LivingSocial.”

Thakar had been with eBay for over 10 years, running various parts of the business from operations in India through to international marketing, as well as overseeing and advertising.

Thakar is not particularly high-profile or colorful in terms of his profile, but the appointment should give more head-down credibility and hope to the company at a time when it is looking to refocus itself after a difficult period that saw the company pull back operations internationally, lay off employees, and rethink how it would position itself in a market that seems to have become overrun with daily deals services.

Or, as the company more charitably puts their shift, “LivingSocial has made significant strides forward in the past six months and has executed its strategic refocusing to concentrate on marketplace innovation, product development and marketing as it evolves its core platform beyond daily deals.”

It’s a move that others like Groupon have also made to adjust to market demands in the search for new lines of revenue.

Last week LivingSocial, which is partly owned by Amazon, added new services that would let users personalise and better hone the offers they received from LivingSocial.

The company claims to be generating over $1 billion in turnover annually, which coincidentally is around the same amount of money that it has raised in financing.