Vowing to "tackle the fundamentals," the new chief executive officer at Angie’s List says he’s betting his career on turning the company around. Scott Durchslag, whose background includes big-name companies like Best Buy, Expedia and Skype, says his plan is to "crawl, walk, run and to start with what we do today, and doing it better." Durchslag is taking over a company that has struggled to find consistent profitability and has long been the subject of speculation, both in Indiana and on Wall Street.
Angie’s List stock opens the week at $5.10, off its 52-week high of $8.90 and its 2011 Initial Public Offering price of $16.26.
The Chicago-native says talent and technology will be keys to reigniting revenue growth and finding profitability as Angie’s List transitions into an e-commerce model. "We’re working on an absolute state-of-the-art platform that is modular, it is open source," said Durchslag, in an interview on Inside Indiana Business Television. "You will see technology being a big part of how we compete going forward."
As Angie’s List searches for its mojo, the company is under increasing competitive pressures. Some suggest giants like Amazon or Google are better positioned to step in and dominate the space. Durchslag says "big scale, one-size-fits-all" competitors don’t worry him. "The essence of the power of place is local," said Durchslag. "Angie’s List has forgotten more than Amazon and Google know about this space."
In 2014, Angie’s List, which currently has more than 1,500 employees, announced plans for a $40 million expansion of its corporate campus on the near east side of Indianapolis, but scuttled those plans in the wake of the RFRA controversy in March.
Don’t look for those expansion plans and visions of an employee base of 3,000 in Indy to be revisited any time soon.
"It’s not a priority for us right now because we’ve got other things that are sort of at the top of the plate," said Durchslag. "But I look forward to that being a challenge later."