Well, that took a while. So long, in fact, that I don’t even remember who the last CEO was at Monster. Better late than never, I guess, as Monster announced a tech executive from the travel industry as its new leader. Scott Gutz will be joining as chief executive officer to lead the ongoing turnaround attempt at one of the world’s oldest online employment brands. He’ll take over effective July 2, 2018.
“Monster’s history as a disruptor in the recruitment industry is undisputed, and I’ve been an admirer of the brand for many years,” said Gutz. “As I’ve started to learn more about the team and current state of the business, it’s clear that Monster has a unique opportunity to return to its position as industry leader. I’m honored to join a team that is poised to shake up the industry once again by delivering quantifiable value for job seekers and employers.”
Gutz has his work cut out for him. Monster, an industry leader and company once valued at some $10 billion, is a sad shadow of its former self. Driven to the ground by bad management, hubris, a Great Recession, and the nimbler Indeed, the mountain Gutz must climb, which now includes competing with the likes of Google, looks daunting as hell.
Nevertheless, the company seems to be doing all the right things. The old leadership team is long gone, job search has been streamlined with a focus on mobile, and commercials are hitting the airwaves. The company even got rid of (gasp!) banner ads in favor of a more “humanizing” user experience.
Unlike his predecessors, who relied on outdated management practices and old-boy hierarchies practiced at places like Wharton, Gutz has a background in tech, having graduated from MIT with a master’s, and run Amadeus, a company that provided software solutions to the travel industry. Monster thinks his skills are uniquely qualified to handle its turnaround.
“Similar to Monster, which powers a marketplace that matches employers with potential employees, Amadeus powers a marketplace connecting travelers and travel providers,” Monster said in a release. “His expertise with digital transformation and focus on e-commerce and digital marketplaces serving both consumers and businesses make him uniquely qualified to lead Monster.”
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A bit backwards, Monster has brought of a bevy of folks into its leadership ranks ahead of hiring a CEO. This rarely goes well. Experience tells me CEOs like to bring on their own team, but in Monster’s case it makes sense to build the airplane while its in the air, as time is of the essence, and getting the right pieces in place are paramount. Time will tell on the right pieces, of course, but the roster looks pretty full now.
In addition to executives hired the past year, it added a former president from Dice to the team this month. Bob Melk, who is now Monster’s chief commercial officer, served as president from 2014-2017. He joined Monster in February, but it’s just now getting around to telling the world. For loyal readers, Melk led Rigzone, which has its own bizarre story.
“These are challenging times for the recruiting industry,” said Melk. “With a tighter job market than we’ve seen in recent years — or even decades, some industries are facing a surplus of talent, while others are experiencing a shortage. Our customers have the important responsibility to help our economy thrive by finding and placing the best candidate in the right role. We see it as our responsibility as their partners to empower them — through our end-to-end solutions that go beyond the job ad — to reach candidates wherever they are.”
The company believes Melk brings deep experiences in recruitment business leadership, with both Dice and his prior role as president of Rigzone, a career platform focused on the oil and gas industry, and also executive leadership, having previously served as president of tech media company IDG’s Consumer and SMB Group, where he won some industry awards.