Norwegian media business Schibsted, which owns numerous property verticals including Fotocasa, Leboncoin and Avito, has announced an organisational restructure that will include two new divisions.
Schibsted says it has created the “Marketplaces” and “Media” divisions to enable it to further increase the speed of development and increasingly leverage its local competence and strong brands across more than 20 markets. The company also wants to continue to capture a global market.
According to the company’s press release, the overall strategy of Schibsted remains unchanged and it will continue to focus on being a global leader in online classifieds and to develop world-class media houses and new growth services.
Within Marketplaces, Schibsted will continue to focus on further strengthening its strong brands and traffic positions in current markets, as well as leveraging these strong positions by developing monetization further. The company says a strengthened product portfolio within verticals should deliver more value to the customers, and hence form the basis for long term growth with operational margin progression.
The Media division’s core mission is to deliver quality journalism supported by continued digitalization and increased revenue share from digital products. At the same time, further streamlining of the operations and improved efficiency will remain a cornerstone of the long-term strategy.
Schibsted CEO Rolv Erik Ryssdal commented on the new company structure:
“We must take full advantage of our local competence and strong brands across all our markets. At the same time, we will continue to capture the benefits of our global scale. A more simple organization will be able to move faster in the market. We are convinced that the adjusted organizational set-up will enable us to compete in the most effective manner going forward, and also to do an even better job for our users and customers.”
Schibsted has invested significantly in enhancing our digital product and technology capabilities, and Ryssdal underlines that product and technology development will remain a driving force in Schibsted’s future development. In the new organization, digital product development will be better integrated with the business units, thereby coming closer to the users and be able to gain more impact in the local markets.
Schibsted Product & Technology will still be a driving force in the new “Marketplaces” and “Media” divisions, the press release states. The majority of the employees in the current Schibsted Product & Technology unit will be moved into the business line divisions Media and Marketplaces, but there will also be some global product and tech functions on a Group level serving both divisions.
Changes to senior management
As a result of the new organisational model, some changes will be made in the Senior Executive Team of Schibsted.
The online classifieds operations in Norway and Sweden, including FINN.no and Blocket.se, will join the Marketplaces division together with all other online classifieds companies in the Schibsted portfolio. The division will have revenues of around NOK 6.8 billion (2016 numbers) and somewhat over 3,000 employees. The Marketplace division will be led by Sondre Gravir, currently EVP Established Europe in Schibsted. He has been part of the Schibsted group management team for the last two years, and he previously held the position as CEO in Finn.no.
Media will consist of the publishing operations in Norway and Sweden (VG, Aftenposten, Stavanger Aftenblad, Bergens Tidende, Fædrelandsvennen, Aftonbladet and Svenska Dagbladet and Omni) in addition to Growth companies such as Lendo, Prisjakt, Let’s Deal and others. The division will have revenues of around NOK 9.5 billion (based on 2016 figures) and approximately 4,000 employees. The new Media division will be led by Raoul Grünthal, currently EVP Schibsted Sweden.
Didrik Munch, EVP Schibsted Norway, has planned to leave in February 2018 and will work with Raoul Grünthal to establish the setup and governance of the new division until he departs.
Terje Seljeseth, currently Chief Product Officer, has decided to leave the company in order to take up a new position at the Tinius Trust, the largest shareholder in Schibsted.
“Didrik Munch and Terje Seljeseth have played a huge part in Schibsted’s development for many years. They have done an excellent job and put in a tremendous effort to propel Schibsted forward. I am extremely grateful for their contribution and wish them all the best in the future, says CEO Rolv Erik Ryssdal.
Rian Liebenberg, Chief Technology Officer for Schibsted, will also be acting Chief Product Officer until the details of the new organization are in place. He will have a key role in the new organization.
Gianpaolo Santorsola will assume a key position in the management of the new Marketplaces division, and Siv Juvik Tveitnes will become Chief Operating Officer of the new Media division.
The other members of the group’s Senior Executive Team, Trond Berger, Lena K. Samuelsson and Tina Stiegler will remain in their current functions at the Group level. Until the new organizational model is fully implemented, the current Senior Executive Team will continue to function as today.
*edited by Sabine Brix