CTO, Schibsted,
Engineering Director, Google


Kobalt is the leading independent music services company offering an alternative to the traditional music business model, through empowering artists, songwriters, publishers and labels with advanced technology, transparency, flexibility, ownership and control.

Search Background

On the back of a $90m Series D round, led by Google Ventures, Balderton and Section 32, Kobalt wanted to hire a CTO to transform the function in readiness for an IPO.


Kobalt was diversifying to build digital services to further empower artists both in publishing royalties and to represent them as a new music label. As the business scaled they wanted to ensure they kept up a rapid pace of innovation. The team was required to scale to a multi-hundred person engineering function to facilitate this transformation and accelerate product innovation. They needed to double down on building engineering led and ‘data-driven product’ led culture.


Erevena performed a global search and secured Rian Liebenberg, CTO at Schibsted where he led a global transformation of their classifieds technology platform, building a team of nearly 800. Rian was an early member of the technical leadership team at before joining Google in 2005 where he became Engineering Director across multiple product areas.

Avid Duggan

Chief Strategy & Business Officer, Kobalt

I really enjoyed working with the Erevena team. It was a true pleasure, it felt like a partnership, and I could trust them. They were flexible and I really felt they were committed to finding the best person. The process was very structured, the profiles were very clear, their filtering was excellent and they really understood the role. I can only rave about them!

Our expert

Sam Wilkins, Partner

Specialisms: Engineering leadership in all technology driven domains, Product leadership for SaaS and FinTech

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