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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Shopping Search Engine Management Changes

Since I’ve been absent a while (sorry Danny, Chris, and Barry), thought I should first catch everyone up on management changes at the shopping comparison engines.

Here’s the rundown:

  • Shopzilla: President John Phelps and Chief Product Officer Farhad Mohit have left the company. COO Bill Glass has taken over as president. Here’s the press release.
  • Shopping.com: CMO Mike Aufricht, VP Internet Marketing & Business Intelligence Rob Goldman, CTO and Co-Founder Amir Ashkenazi, and Vice President, Global Operations and U.S. Merchant Operations Deana Bergquist have left the company. Here’s a look at the new management team.
  • PriceGrabber: President & Co-Founder Kamran Pourzanjani has left the company (although he’s still around as an adviser for Experian). COO, Ron LaPierre has taken over as president.
  • Become: Founder, Chairman & CTO Yeogirl Yun has left the company. Further re-organization details will be announced in the coming weeks. Joe Kubiniec, a 17-year veteran of Microsoft, has joined as Director of User Experience.

So what does this mean for these companies?
Truthfully, I think it’s business as usual. Shopzilla, Shopping.com, and PriceGrabber were all purchased by larger entities (EW Scripps, eBay, and Experian Interactive, respectively) in mid-late 2005 and it’s normal for founders and senior management to move on. While I’m disappointed to see many of these people leave, I think it’s a healthy change for each company as new management comes with new ideas which can help move the industry, and these top players, forward.

I’ve heard a number of people play up the softness in Shopzilla’s expected earnings as the main reason for Phelps’ and Mohit’s departures, but I think that’s only a small piece of the puzzle.

As for Become, the company has re-focused efforts on the comparison shopping side of the business, reducing staff in areas such as marketing and strengthening staff in areas like account management.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.

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