Russian Horizontal Online Classifieds Giant Avito Hires New CFO and Branding Guru

March 14, 2023
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The Russian online classifieds leader Avito has made two key hires as its new owner, Kismet Capital, looks to make its mark on the company.

Sergei Piven has been appointed Chief Financial Officer. Piven has experience in the pharmaceutical and banking industry in Russia as well as with the European division of Ford Motors.

Former Unilever Marketing Director Evgenia Odintsova has also been hired to lead branding efforts at Avito.

“Avito is a unique brand already loved by millions of users. I sincerely want to turn it into a top service for every resident of our country. Avito is not just an application, not just the largest classified site; Avito is a lifestyle. We have ambitious goals, and I am sure that together with the team, we’ll make Avito shine even brighter, continuing to offer users unlimited choice, confidence, and benefits,” she said.

Although leading vertical specialist Cian remains the top player in terms of specialist real estate sites in Russia, Avito's grip on the market outside the main profitable urban centres of Moscow and St Petersburg is strong.

Since being sold by international classifieds operator Prosus last year for a reported $2.5 billion after mounting political pressure, Avito's position in Russia is increasingly strong thanks to links Kismet Capital has to VK Group which also owns the popular social network VKontakte.

With the withdrawal of many Western brands from the Russian market, Avito has started becoming more of an e-Commerce player offering more new products on its platform alongside its historically successful peer-to-peer used goods business.

March 14, 2023
Edmund got to know the world of portals and marketplaces working at Mitula Group (which became Lifull Connect after the buyout in 2018). He worked directly with hundreds of portals across the world in his role in the content department for three and a half years before transferring to the SEO department to understand the inner workings of listings sites. He joined Online Marketplaces as Head of Content in March 2020.

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