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Angie’s List names former Best Buy executive as CEO

September 8, 2015


(Reuters) – Angie’s List appointed Scott Durchslag, a former Best Buy executive, as its new chief executive officer, the company said on Tuesday.

Durchslag replaces Bill Oesterle, the longtime CEO who said in April that he was stepping down from theIndianapolis-based company to pursue state politics, following passage of a controversial state law, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Opponents say the law supports discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

The company, known for letting its members review local businesses, has recorded only a handful of profitable quarters and its shares have lagged below the price of its initial public offering in 2011.

The company, which was founded in 1995 and has about 3.2 million paid members, has been shifting from its origins as an online review site to a marketplace that helps customers find everything from chimney sweepers to plumbers. It generates the bulk of its revenue by taking a cut of these transactions and from advertising.

Durchslag, who has been a paying member of Angie’s List since 2012 when he was looking for a roofing contractor, said he views local services as being ripe for disruption.

He sees partnerships as one area for expansion. Angie’s List has deals with insurance provider Allstate, paint company Benjamin Moore and Shaw, the carpet manufacturer, but could do more, Durchslag said. Angie’s List can also tap customer data to make its service more personalized, he added.

Angie’s List (ANGI) faces new competition from Google (GOOG) and (AMZN), as well as upstarts such as Thumbtack, which has a marketplace matching local services to customers.

Durchslag said Angie’s List has a head start on these rivals, getting an estimated $10 billion to $15 billion in revenue per year between its members and service partners.

“There’s a massive learning curve that goes into this kind of thing,” he said.

Durchslag, who most recently was president of global commerce and marketing at Best Buy (BBY), also had stints at Expedia, Skype and McKinsey, and has experience in turnaround situations.

He was able to revive the Southeast Asia division of Motorola when he worked there in the early 2000s, according to former Motorola Mobile devices president Ron Garriques.

“He was very customer focused and was able to take that from a poorly performing to one of the highest performing units,” said Garriques, who is now the CEO of RadioShack.

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