Isentia undergoes reshuffle as former Yahoo7 boss appointed as CEO

Isentia Group ASX ISD Yahoo7 CEO Ed Harrison
Isentia has appointment former Yahoo7 boss Ed Harrison as its new managing director and chief executive officer.

There has been quite a shakeup at Isentia Group (ASX: ISD) with the media intelligence company announcing the appointment of a new managing director and CEO as well as the resignation of its chief financial officer.

Earlier today, Isentia said it had appointed Ed Harrison as managing director and CEO alongside the parallel departure of James Orlando as CFO.

Isentia said that to ensure a smooth handover, Mr Orlando will remain with Isentia until a new CFO has been found. However, given the unexpected nature of his resignation, Isentia has said it has commenced an “immediate” search.

“I have had the opportunity to implement programs that will drive better sales execution, customer delivery and cross-functional collaboration. We have also strengthened the team with some high-quality hires who have established investment processes that will assist in realising Isentia’s full potential,” said Mr Orlando.

New CEO Ed Harrison

Meanwhile, following a laborious search since February, Isentia says that Mr Ed Harrison will replace John Croll who resigned in February and stepped down from the position of CEO in May.

Mr Harrison is expected to take up his new role on 6 August 2018, with Doug Snedden reverting to non-executive chairman.

Mr Snedden was appointed as Isentia’s executive chairman in May this year in order to assume the responsibility for the day-to-day management of the company following John Croll’s resignation.

Isentia has revealed that Mr Harrison will be compensated with an annual salary of A$676,000 per year including sign-on equity totalling a further A$676,000 in the form of share rights, (otherwise known as ‘engagement rights’), as part of Isentia’s long-term incentive plan.

Mr Harrison has over 25 years’ experience across many types of media including print, outdoor and digital in Australia, New Zealand and the UK. With a strong background in sales, Mr Harrison set up JC Decaux’s business in Victoria and South Australia when he first came to Australia in 2001.

From 2003 to 2008, he served as general manager of JC Decaux, the world’s largest out-of-home advertising company, as it established a dominant position in Australian street furniture.

In his latest role before joining Isentia, Mr Harrison served as CEO of Yahoo7 from 2014 to 2018. During his tenure, he delivered digital media products and original content to over 9 million monthly users.

Isentia executive chairman Doug Snedden said that Isentia’s board is pleased to have secured the appointment of Mr Harrison given his strong track record in sales, digital media and product development, and “leadership of businesses in transformation”.

Regarding Mr Orlando’s departure, Isentia’s chairman said that “he has implemented processes that have enhanced transparency around the key drivers of the business and initiated a cost out program which is the first step in the transformation of our fixed cost base.”

As it stands, Isentia is one of the leading media intelligence companies in the Asia and Pacific (APAC) region after the company reaffirmed its EBITDA guidance of $32-36 million for the first half of the 2018 financial year. The full annual report is expected to be published on 23 August this year.

“I am delighted to be joining an iconic company like Isentia, which is widely known as the leading provider of media intelligence in the Asia-Pacific region. Like many organisations, Isentia is facing a number of challenges associated with the rapidly changing media landscape. I look forward to working with the team to drive an innovation, digital and product-focused growth agenda,” said Mr Harrison.

Today’s boardroom reshuffle helped Isentia’s shares rise 16% to $0.81 per share, thereby valuing the company at around A$162 million by market capitalisation.