Paul Bassat co-founded the employment, recruitment and training website SEEK in 1997 – a visionary who foresaw the death of print advertising and the rise and rise of online recruitment. Nearly 20 years later, SEEK has transformed the advertising landscape and has a market capitalisation of nearly $6 billion. As CEO and joint CEO of the company from 1997 until 2011, Bassat was at the helm when James Packer purchased a 25 per cent stake in SEEK in 2003. Packer is reported to have said, “SEEK was my favourite company of anything I ever owned.”
Today, SEEK attracts more than 30 million visits each month across all devices and platforms. With a current market capitalisation of nearly $6 billion, SEEK aims to be the global leader in online employment.
Bassat left SEEK to work in private equity and with early-stage investment fund Square Peg Capital, where he is passionate about mentoring management teams that are focused on building outstanding businesses. “Great companies are built by the entrepreneurs and not the investors,” is Square Peg’s philosophy. “We know how hard it is to build a great company and our role is to mentor and support our entrepreneurs.”
A director of Wesfarmers Ltd and a Commissioner at the Australian Football League (AFL), Bassat is also active on several boards, including those of the Faculty of Business and Economics at the University of Melbourne, the Peter MacCallum Cancer Foundation, the Mount Scopus College Foundation and the P&S Bassat Foundation. In 2009 he was appointed to the Forum of Young Global Leaders, part of the World Economic Forum.