Steve Melhuish (centre) becomes Vice Chairman, and Hari Krishnan (right) is promoted to CEO. (Photo: PropertyGuru)
After nine years heading up PropertyGuru Group, co-founder and CEO Steve Melhuish has decided to hand over the day-to-day operations to Hari V. Krishnan, who will be promoted to CEO. He joined PropertyGuru in January this year as President and Chief Business Officer (CBO).
Effective immediately, Melhuish becomes Vice Chairman of PropertyGuru, and will focus on the company’s longer-term strategy, business growth and key client relationships.
At the same time, Krishnan joins the two co-founders – Melhuish and Jani Rautiainen – on the board of directors.
Rautiainen, who was also Managing Director of PropertyGuru, will move 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.
This transition is part of a process started two years ago by Melhuish and Rautiainen to develop a solid leadership team and succession plan. In fact, Krishnan was identified as a potential successor to the CEO role in 2015.
He brings over 15 years of leadership experience in the technology industry in the US and Asia. He was previously the Vice President for Asia Pacific and Japan at LinkedIn, having joined them as their first employee in the region.
Said Krishnan: “I am excited to lead the company’s next phase of growth. I look forward to working closely with our leadership team, the board and our employees to serve all of our constituents – consumers, customers, partners and investors.”
Meanwhile, Lewis Ng, Managing Director for the group’s Singapore operations, will be promoted to CBO with immediate effect. In addition to overseeing Singapore, Ng will now focus on driving revenue growth across the other key markets – Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.
“PropertyGuru is in a very strong position today, with our brands holding the number one position in all our core markets,” said Melhuish. “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.”
He added: “Jani and I remain very much part of PropertyGuru. We continue to be 100 percent committed to supporting the company’s mission of helping property seekers across Asia make confident property decisions.”
Melhuish co-founded PropertyGuru due to his personal frustrations of trying to find a new home in 2006. Since then, the company has grown to become Southeast Asia’s leading online real estate platform, used by over 16 million property seekers every month. Today, it generates over S$15 billion worth of transactions per annum.