S. Africa’s Naspers hires Airbnb, Amazon veteran to lead global classifieds business

Naspers Ltd, Africa’s largest firm, announced on Thursday that it has recruited a top Airbnb and former Amazon executive to lead its global online classifieds operation, as the technology investor seeks to boost revenue from core businesses. 

The company’s online classifieds business, which is part of the OLX Group, accounts for 5% of total revenue and is the largest among a range of businesses including payments and fintech, food delivery, and education technology.

According to the Reuters, its size is largely overshadowed by Naspers’ blockbuster investment in Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings, which owns China’s biggest messaging app, WeChat, and accounts for more than three-fourths of its revenues.

Romain Voog, formerly of Airbnb’s vice president of global business operations and geographies, has joined Prosus NV as the chief executive officer of OLX Group, effective April 1.

Prosus is a Naspers subsidiary that houses all of its overseas property including Tencent and online classifieds business, which is spread across 30 countries.

Before joining Airbnb, Voog was the president of Amazon’s French operations. He succeeds Martin Scheepbouwer, who led the OLX Group for nine years, according to the company.

“His (Voog’s) experience inside customer-centric organisations such as Amazon and Airbnb will be an asset to OLX Group as we drive customer-centric innovation in the world of classifieds,” said Bob van Dijk, CEO of Prosus and Naspers.

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