Auctionata | Paddle8 Appoints Dr. Thomas Hesse as Chief Executive Officer

Sep 01, 2016, 09:15 ET from Auctionata AG

NEW YORK and BERLIN, September 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --

- Founder and former CEO Alexander Zacke takes on role as Chief Marketplace Officer

- Lucas Hülsmann named as new Chief Financial Officer

Auctionata | Paddle8, the online auction platform for art and luxury goods, based in New York and Berlin, has expanded its leadership team. Thomas Hesse, 49, has been named new Chief Executive Officer (CEO), to lead the German-American high-growth company. Auctionata | Paddle8 also appointed Lucas Hülsmann, 45, an experienced finance professional, as Chief Financial Officer (CFO). In his role as CEO, Hesse succeeds Auctionata founder Alexander Zacke, 50, who has held this position since 2012. Going forward, as Chief Marketplace Officer, Zacke will be responsible for the development of new sales categories and seller products for the online platform.

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Hesse has more than 20 years of experience in the leadership, development and digital transformation of companies in the television and media industry. He was formerly President of Corporate Development and New Businesses and member of the Executive Board of Bertelsmann, and led the merger of Sony Music and BMG and the digital transformation of the music industry over many years as Sony Music Entertainment's President of Global Digital Business and US Sales. As former CEO of RTL Newmedia and co-founder of VEVO, the largest online platform for music videos, Hesse is one of the pioneers of video broadcasting and digital content, and has gained a deep understanding in the leadership of online startups as a business angel and venture investor. In his new role at Auctionata | Paddle8, he will lead the integration of the merged company, and its evolution from online auction house to curated live video network and global marketplace for art and luxury goods.

"Three years after the launch of the livestream auction, Auctionata | Paddle8 is one of the most promising and innovative companies at the highly dynamic intersection of ecommerce, media, art and luxury goods," says Hesse. "The recently merged company has built a strong digital platform with a powerful business model in a short amount of time, and has enormous opportunities to scale further. I am very excited to lead Auctionata | Paddle8 as the company is entering its next phase of sustained and rapid growth."

Hesse takes over as CEO from Alexander Zacke, who founded Auctionata in 2012 in Berlin and has since then built up the company to the world's largest online platform for art and luxury goods. As Chief Marketplace Officer, Zacke will continue to pursue his original vision of transforming the auction market in the digital world - evolving a platform with traditional auction formats into a highly scalable set of live video channels and transaction capabilities: "I am proud of the progress Auctionata | Paddle8 has made, quickly becoming one of the largest auction houses in the world. For the future development of the company we need an experienced executive leading from the front. I am very glad that after an extensive search we have found the perfect candidate for this position in Thomas Hesse, whose experience in the media industry will be extremely valuable for Auctionata | Paddle8. As Chief Marketplace Officer, I am excited to focus again on my original founding vision of digitally transforming the auction market."

Lucas Hülsmann will join the management team as Chief Financial Officer on October 1. Hülsmann has worked at Procter & Gamble in Geneva for more than 20 years. In his most recent role as Associate Director Global Development Markets, he was responsible for the financial and strategic management and the Corporate Governance of P&G's global export and distributor markets for more than 120 countries, with over $1.5B of sales. In his new position at Auctionata | Paddle8, Hülsmann will critically contribute to the further development of the company's financial structures and processes as the organization continues to expand. "I have been able to watch Auctionata's impressive growth closely for many years and I am thrilled to join the company as it enters into the next level of growth and success", says Hülsman. "Auctionata | Paddle8 is strongly positioned with a unique offering for both lovers and dealers of art and luxury goods, and I am very happy to bring the knowledge gained over many years of working in various areas of financial management to Auctionata | Paddle8, its clients, employees, and investors."

Chairman of the supervisory board Dr. Christian Nagel comments: "With Thomas Hesse and Lucas Hülsmann, Auctionata | Paddle8 has gained two seasoned managers who are both internationally experienced and highly competent. In this new constellation, the global management team is ideally set up to implement our ambitious and exciting growth plans". Paddle8 Co-Founder and Auctionata | Paddle8's Chairman and Chief Innovation Officer, Alexander Gilkes adds: "We are thrilled to welcome on board our new CEO, Thomas Hesse and CFO, Lucas Hülsmann. While they share our vision and entrepreneurial ethos, they bring to the table a wealth of experience which will help us stay ahead of the curve as we endeavor to reinvent the user experience for buying and selling art, luxury goods, and other high-end collectibles."

About Auctionata | Paddle8 

Auctionata | Paddle8 is the global online leader in art and luxury collectibles. Through innovative livestream auction formats, charity auctions, private sales, and a curated online shop, the recently merged platforms offer a seamless online process to sell and purchase art, design, classic cars, watches, jewelry, wine and real estate. With around 800,000 registered users, Auctionata | Paddle8 is one of the ten biggest auction houses worldwide outside of China. The company has offices in Berlin, New York, London, Los Angeles, Rome, Zurich, and Madrid and is thus represented in the most important international markets.

Press Contact
Luisa Elster
Director PR & Corporate Communications
Phone: +49-30-610-8061-29

Auctionata | Paddle8
30 Cooper Square | New York | NY 10003 | USA
Franklinstr. 13 | 10587 Berlin | Germany

SOURCE Auctionata AG