New game of musical chairs at the head of Qwant. Just three months after the appointment of Tristan Nitot as General Manager, the French search engine is already looking for a replacement. This decision was taken by the Board of Directors, spurred by the shareholders Caisse des Dépôts and the Axel Springer fund.
According to our sources, the recruitment process has already been launched. Targeted profile: a personality with a solid technological background and an international reputation. For now, headhunters have not yet found the rare pearl, but time is running out.
His mission will not be easy. It is neither more nor less to define a new strategy and to put back flat the plan of development of the company. From a source close to the file, we recognize that “The cash flow is not very good”. The company's founding president, Eric Léandri, who has been active this year to find new investors, has not been successful so far.
He ensures that discussions are still ongoing, these stumbling on the amount of valuation of the company. From 20 to 25 million euros are sought. They will be added to the 53 million euros in financing obtained by Qwant since its creation in 2011 at the European Investment Bank, the Caisse des Dépôts and the Axel Springer fund.
“Focus on monetization”
The publication, during the summer, of negative press articles did not facilitate the operation. Vitriol portrait of M. Léandri in Mediapartrevelation in The letter a, a letter from the Caisse des Dépôts expressing alarm “Indecent wages” within society, article of the Duck chained on the malaise of the teams … The founder was able to respond to the attacks and grant an increase to the majority of its employees to appease the ambient wrath, “It has caramelized,” believes a connoisseur of the company.
If audiences are growing, on the revenue side, growth is not at the expected level
“It sure did not help raise funds”, admits Tristan Nitot, who wants to believe that the finalization of the operation is ” close “. If it fails, the current shareholders may have to put their hand in their pockets, in order to avoid the company being in a critical position. To date, this scenario is most likely.