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LivingSocial Taps eBay Exec to Right the Ship

Gautam Thakar brings marketing expertise

LivingSocial's new CEO Gautam Thakar

Seven months after Tim O’Shaughnessy said he would step down as LivingSocial CEO, the deals company has named Gautam Thakar as his replacement.

Thakar has spent nearly the last decade working a handful of executive positions for eBay—so he brings plenty of online shopping expertise to the table. He also served as a Procter & Gamble brand manager from 1995-2000.

And a wealth of marketing wisdom will probably be needed to get LivingSocial back on track. The Washington, D.C.-based company has administered big layoffs in the last two years, and people close to the situation told Adweek more than a year ago that LivingSocial would struggle to make it through 2014.

But the cash influx that it received in January by selling Korean e-commerce brand TicketMonster to Groupon for $260 million seems to have bought LivingSocial more time.

Now it's up to Thakar to make the company profitable. He will take the reins by mid-August, and O’Shaughnessy, one of the founders of the company, will remain as an advisor.

"Gautam’s consumer-centric mindset, strong marketing expertise and track record as a successful executive are ideally suited to position LivingSocial for expansion during this exciting time in the evolution of online commerce and advertising," said Tige Savage, a member of LivingSocial’s board of directors, in a statement. “He was the unanimous selection of the board of directors after a comprehensive search.” 

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