EBay talent Paolo Ragone joins HiPages
14 Dec 2016
After spending a decade with EBay and Gumtree Australia, Paolo Ragone (photo) joined HiPages (HomeImprovementPages.com.au) in October this year as chief technology officer (CTO). HiPages, which lists jobs for tradespeople and enables hirers to find tradespeople with three, free quotes, appointed a CTO for the first time.
In his new role at HiPages, Ragone leads the technology organization composing of development (backend, frontend and mobile), IT and site operations, and works closely with the product team. A report in The Australian said that he would be responsible for scaling up HiPages’ engineering team for growth.
The same report said that CEO David Vitek will aim at either doubling or tripling the size of the engineering team. In particular, Vivek mentioned the messaging feature and delivery processes, which Ragone helped launch for Gumtree Australia.
Other new hires at HiPages included chief financial officer Karl Pope and chief people officer Jodette Cleary. News Corp. Australia took a 25 percent stake in HiPages last year, valuing the company at the time at $160 million U.S..
The HiPages platform is free-to-use for users seeking quotes to get repairs or renovations done, and generates income by charging tradespeople who present themselves on the platform.
Ragone spent five years as CTO of Gumtree Australia, where he also grew the team aggressively, while at the same time helping to keep the organization lean, and led mobile development and a slew of information systems activities.
He was previously at EBay Spain, where he served as head of product and innovation, and head of product and development. He was also interim country manager of EBay Spain for a year. Before that, Ragone owned his own business, and spent time in academia: He was professor at the Universidad Metropolitana (Unimet).
His LinkedIn profile lists two patents to his name. He was identified as a critical talent in EBay in 2009. (A critical talent is defined as one of just ten, selected talents in the whole organization in a given period.)
In the meantime, Gumtree Australia has huge shoes to fill. A spokesperson commented in October about Ragone’s departure: “His departure has opened up an exciting opportunity for a new CTO to join the Gumtree Australia leadership team and lead our technology strategy and operations. We are looking for an agile leader who possesses vast experience in Java-based products, a passion for mobile technologies and devotion to cultivating and growing a technology team, while also helping keep our customers happy and successful.”