PropertyGuru Announces Leadership Transition to Foster Next Chapter of Growth
Steve Melhuish becomes Vice Chairman, and Hari Krishnan is promoted to Chief Executive Officer
SINGAPORE – Media OutReach – 6 September 2016 – PropertyGuru Group (“PropertyGuru”, “Group” or the “Company”), Asia’s leading online property group, today announced a leadership change involving Steve Melhuish, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) and Hari V. Krishnan, President and Chief Business Officer (“CBO”).
After nine years as CEO of PropertyGuru Group, Steve has decided to hand over the day-to-day operations to focus on the Company’s longer-term strategy, business growth, and key client relationships. Effective immediately, Steve becomes Vice Chairman of PropertyGuru and continues to support PropertyGuru full time. Hari is promoted to become CEO of the Company and joins the two co-founders — Steve Melhuish and Jani Rautiainen — on the Board of Directors (or the “Board”).
This transition is part of a process initiated two years ago by the co-founders, Steve and Jani, to develop a world-class leadership team and succession plan. They identified Hari as a potential CEO successor in 2015, with the latter bringing to the table over 15 years of leadership experience in the Technology industry in the US and Asia. At that point, Hari was the Vice President for Asia Pacific & Japan at LinkedIn, having joined them as their first employee in the region. Hari joined PropertyGuru as President and CBO in January 2016. His appointment was followed by a few other key leadership hires, completing the executive leadership team in June 2016.
Steve said, “PropertyGuru is in a very strong position today, with our brands holding the number 1 position in all our core markets. Revenue and traffic continue to grow rapidly, and we’re on track to return to profitability next year — after five years of aggressive investment in regional expansion, product innovation, marketing, and developing a world-class leadership team. As such, Jani and I felt that now was the right time to pass the baton.”
Steve continued, “Hari’s done a stellar job as our CBO these past eight months. His exceptional leadership and people development skills, and vast experience in managing large teams across a complex set of markets and businesses make him the ideal candidate to continue the PropertyGuru success journey.”
Steve co-founded PropertyGuru due to his personal frustrations at trying to find a new home in 2006. Over the last nine years, Steve and Jani have helped to grow the company into Southeast Asia’s leading online property platform, used by over 16 million property seekers every month to find their dream home. Today, the platform generates over S$15 billion worth of transactions per annum for its 35,000 real estate developer and agent clients. Starting out as a two-man team, PropertyGuru now has over 420 staff, and its solutions extend beyond online property search to cover real estate events, awards, print publications and sales collaboration tools in nine Asian countries.
“Jani and I remain very much part of PropertyGuru. We continue to be 100% committed to supporting the Company’s mission of helping property seekers across Asia make confident property decisions. Leading this Organisation has been an incredible experience — immensely gratifying and humbling! The success of PropertyGuru has far exceeded our expectations. It’s been a huge team effort and we’re thankful for the amazing support over the last nine years from our Gurus, consumers, customers, partners, media and investors. We’ve built an awesome team and culture at the Company, and we’re both excited about being a part of more accomplishments in the future,” he added.
Incoming CEO Hari V. Krishnan, said, “PropertyGuru has been built by a wonderful team of entrepreneurs focusing on real consumer needs in our markets. I am excited to lead the Company’s next phase of growth, working with our talented team to bring more exciting innovations to property seekers and to deliver more value to our customers.”
He added, “I am honoured to succeed Steve as the next CEO of the Company and look forward to continuing my partnership with him, which I have truly enjoyed these past eight months. As a result of our continuous consumer-focussed innovations and the biggest investment in research and development in our sector, the PropertyGuru family of brands are stronger than ever. I look forward to working closely with our seasoned leadership team, the Board of Directors, and most of all our talented employees, to serve all of our constituents — consumers, customers, partners and investors.”
Concurrent with these appointments, Jani Rautiainen, Co-Founder, Managing Director and Board Member of PropertyGuru Group, will transition into a new Executive Director role. He will be supporting the Group’s longer-term business development, continuing to help shape the Company and product strategy, and remains an active Board member. Lewis Ng, currently Managing Director for the Group’s Singapore operations, will be promoted to become Chief Business Officer, effective immediately. In addition to overseeing Singapore, Lewis will now focus on driving revenue growth across all markets.
Steve said, “Jani and I are pleased with Hari and Lewis’ new appointments. We believe the PropertyGuru leadership team is the strongest in the industry and has the depth of experience and expertise to scale and further accelerate the company’s growth over the coming years.