If it wasn’t for dubizzle, we would still be making trips to Awir to buy cars, be manipulated by real-estate agents on values of properties and getting ripped by everyday folks making a killing selling Google Glasses. Wait, cross that last one out.
Dubizzle is one of the most successful startups from the region and the co-founders and co-CEOs Sim Whatley and JC Butler have decided to take it easy by moving out of the day-to-day operations and into advisory roles. Arto Joensuu who is currently the head of marketing will take on the role of CEO. He has some big shoes to fill.
August 25, 2013: dubizzle today announced that Arto Joensuu, will take on the role of CEO – responsible for all dubizzle operations globally. The move signifies an important development in the growth of one of the region’s most exciting start-up success stories.
Co-founders Sim Whatley and JC Butler, who founded the business 8 years ago, from a shared bedsit with no investment, have made the decision to move into advisory positions on the board – as they make the move back to their homes in the USA and take up the whole new challenge of raising their respective young families.
The entrepreneurial duo have been at the helm of the business since its humble beginnings in 2005, taking it to an employer of over 150 people operating across 10 countries – the most recent milestone coming with the opening of an office in Egypt to support the 100 million page view’s the portal is now achieving in that market.
Butler, who has been responsible for steering the growth of the business in markets outside of the UAE commented: “After more than 8 years of running the day-to-day business of dubizzle, I, along with Sim, have decided to take a more strategic role that will allow us to move closer to our families and spend more time with our kids. While this decision is purely personal, our move from the roles of co-CEOs to the board will allow for dubizzle’s brilliant minds and impassioned leaders to carry the torch forward and accomplish goals far beyond what we imagined upon founding the company”.
Continuing on in the same thread, Whatley commented “It has been so inspirational to be able to have worked with such amazingly talented people over the past 8 years and humbling to realize that dubizzle has been able to attract those kinds of people. We believe wholeheartedly in what this team will accomplish over the long-term and can’t wait to see it continue”.
Through promoting talent from within, the decision to appoint Joensuu as the new CEO has left the board of dubizzle in no doubt that the values and entrepreneurial spirit that have driven dubizzle to its success will continue to blossom and achieve new heights. Throughout his career as a ‘Change Agent’, including leadership roles at Terra Mobile, Nokia and dubizzle, Joensuu has remained true to his belief that through the right people gelled together with the right values, any business challenge can be conquered.
“We are very fortunate to have Arto Joensuu leading the all-star team, who in his years as Director of Marketing, has had a profound impact on our culture, our way of working, and, not the least of which, our success” continued Whatley.
Since 2013, the company has seen explosive growth with almost 15 million visits per month, equating to a brand that is firmly ingrained in the culture of day-to-day life in the Emirates and in the expansion regionally of the concept of disrupting consumer exploitation which dubizzle so joyfully promotes, meaning a service that allows a more sustainable way of living through trading second hand goods.
In a closing statement, Butler emphasised that: “Sim and I still believe deeply in the vision and mission of dubizzle and intend to remain personally invested in the company, both in time and money, for as long as we are of benefit. For anyone interested in my 2010 crew-cab Bluetooth enabled Ford F-150 pick-up truck (black with chrome trim), keep an eye out on dubizzle ”.
The fun-loving spirit that has spurred the company to success through glorious and turbulent times evidently lives on, within dubizzle and the two entrepreneurs that started it all.