Former LivingSocial chief executive Tim O’Shaughnessy has been named president of Graham Holdings, the conglomerate owned by his father-in-law and former Washington Post Co. chairman, Donald E. Graham.
In his role as president, O’Shaughnessy will oversee investments and acquisitions for Graham Holdings and “help set a new direction for the company” as it sheds an identity that was once tightly entwined with this newspaper, according to a news release.
“While I am going nowhere around here for a while, I’m adding another family member, another generation, to the top management of Graham Holdings,” Graham told employees Wednesday, according to a transcript of his remarks.
“I consider myself youthful in outlook, and as I said I plan to be a part of this place for years to come, but we need somebody with a technologist’s vision, and somebody who understands the businesses of today,” he said.
The Washington Post Co. was rechristened Graham Holdings in 2013 after the Graham family sold The Washington Post newspaper and its affiliated publications to Amazon.com founder Jeffrey P. Bezos for $250 million.
Now headquartered in Arlington, Graham Holdings continues to operate a handful of long-held businesses, including several TV stations and online media outlets as well as higher-education company Kaplan. The company has also purchased two home health-care companies and a Texas-based manufacturer of energy equipment in recent years to help diversify its streams of revenue.
“It’s time for a new story. This has always been the company that owned The Washington Post. That’s no longer us. But we’ve got something amazing and special for the future,” Graham told employees.
O’Shaughnessy, who declined to comment for this article, will start Nov. 3.
O’Shaughnessy’s addition to Graham Holdings makes the company even more of a family affair. His wife, Laura O’Shaughnessy, is not only Graham’s daughter but also the chief executive of SocialCode, a Graham Holdings company. The couple married in April 2009 and have two young children.
“I’m thrilled that Don and the board have given me the opportunity to be part of this and really help grow the business,” O’Shaughnessy told employees Wednesday, according to a transcript of his remarks. “[He’s] a man that I admire who has been such a great steward of the company, and I look forward to working closer with him and you all to help build the company and go forward from here.”
O’Shaughnessy officially stepped down as the head of LivingSocial in August after announcing plans to leave the company earlier this year.
He co-founded the deals business with three friends in 2007, and oversaw its global expansion during the height of the daily deals craze. As enthusiasm began to wane, however, LivingSocial struggled to maintain its momentum, and ultimately closed or sold most of its international offices and shed hundreds of employees.
Since leaving LivingSocial, O’Shaughnessy has begun backing early stage start-ups run by former colleagues. He has invested money in Lanham-based Framebridge, a custom framing upstart, and Baltimore-based OrderUp, a food delivery service.
Capital Business is The Post’s publication focusing on the region’s business community. For more Washington business news, go to www.capbiz.biz.
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