by Byron Connolly

?Ajay Bhatia new consumer boss at Carsales

Mar 27, 2017
Careers IT Leadership Retail Industry

Ajay Bhatia
Credit: Carsales
Carsales has promoted it long-standing chief product and information officer Ajay Bhatia to the role of managing director, consumer business following a management reshuffle.

Jason Blackman, who has been chief technology officer at Carsales since August 2015, has been promoted to the CIO role.

Bhatia has led the organisation’s technology strategy since November 2008. In his new role, he is responsible for revenue across the company’s consumer group businesses. These include private seller advertising, Redbook, Redbook Inspect, Redbook Warranty, DCI, Tyresales, Partsales, Membership, Payments (an escrow business), and other consumer offerings.

His counterpart on the B2B side of Carsales’ business is managing director, commercial, Anthony Saines.

“I am handling the C2C and B2C revenue streams and he [Saines] is handling the B2B revenue streams,” said Bhatia.

Bhatia said the CTO role is not being filled at this stage.

“I saw that [CTO] role as my successor for a long time and I think in time, Jason will want to do the same thing [as me],” said Bhatia.

Bhatia’s new role also has an operational component with responsibility for product management; group project management; and data and artificial intelligence.

“The product [team] always gets involved with technology so I will be involved as a key stakeholder to Jason. Group product will still report to me, the same as my previous role.

“The group PMO function still reports to me, the project managers across the business. We wanted to pull PMO out because initially, we saw PMO as very much a technology function but we have started seeing it as a company-wide function,” Bhatia said.

Bhatia said a lot of the work done in data science goes towards optimising the user experience, which is why data science and AI is still within his portfolio. Bhatia is working with Carsales’ development manager and technical team lead, Michael Ridgway, on data science and AI activities in what he describes as a ‘dual role’.

Carsales is growing fairly quickly, recently making a push into the Latin America market with its purchase of the automotive classified websites of DeMotores in Argentina, Colombia and Chile.

The company last month reported a five per cent rise in profit for its first half to $54.4 million compared to a year earlier.

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Follow Byron Connolly on Twitter: @ByronConnolly