Mark Britt to depart Mi9

Mark Britt to depart Mi9

B&T can now confirm that Mi9 CEO Mark Britt will depart The Nine Entertainment Company as CEO of Mi9.

David Hovenden
Posted by David Hovenden

Nine CEO David Gyngell met with staff at 11.30 this morning to announce the new managing director of digital for the merged company would be Alex Parsons, who re-joins the company from his current role of CEO RateCity.

B&T has been told by several sources close to Britt that he had been offered the role of MD digital, but had declined the offer.

Britt will be moving to Kuala Lumpur to head up Catcha Group, an international investment group that controls numerous companies involved in media, new media, online classified and e-commerce.

Since taking on the CEO role in 2011 – at what was then known as ninemsn – Britt spearheaded the expansion of the business to incorporate a range of new investments and advertising technologies. He then drove the corporate rebrand of Mi9.

Britt has a wealth of executive and commercial experience in online, advertising and consumer technology fields and the Australian, European and Asia-Pacific markets.

In the internal email from NEC, a source said that the new appointment to the head of digital was “surprising” and “not what had been canvassed”.

The release from NEC is below:

David Gyngell, Chief Executive Officer of Nine Entertainment Co. today announced changes in the management structure at Mi9 which respond to an ever-developing environment within the company.

“As the media industry evolves, it is important that Nine Entertainment Co. continues to adapt its operational approach. Most recently, we have combined our free-to-air and digital sales teams recognising the increasing integration of television and digital, and we continue to move towards integrating key support functions. Given the market leading positions and our 100% ownership of the Nine Network and Mi9, we are now uniquely positioned to seamlessly align these businesses and we will continue to work towards further operational integration.” Mr Gyngell said.

In light of this changed structure of the Mi9 business, Mark Britt, Mi9 CEO, has elected to pursue other opportunities across Asia while remaining connected with NEC in a strategic capacity. Mark played an invaluable role by independently leading the Mi9 business when it was a joint venture with Microsoft and has led the successful integration of the business into the NEC Group since NEC’s move to full ownership late last year.

Mark will remain involved with the NEC Group in a part time strategic advisory capacity with this term extending to 31 March 2016 – enabling NEC to continue to tap into his depth of digital expertise and strategic capability.

“Mark is well regarded as one of the pre-eminent thought leaders in the digital space, so I am pleased that we have been able to retain his insights and guidance into the future.” Mr Gyngell said.

“I would like to thank him for his contribution and wish him well in his future endeavours.”
Mr Gyngell said the next phase of the development of the Mi9 business would provide many new opportunities and announced the appointment of Alex Parsons as Managing Director, Nine Digital, who re-joins the company from his current role of CEO RateCity.

Alex will progressively transition into his new role, bringing his senior leadership experience and knowledge of the business to continue the growth and development of Mi9’s market leading team. “I’m pleased to have Alex return to the digital business. He has been a part of our company for many years and I’m confident the transition to the new management structure will proceed smoothly,” Mr Gyngell said.

Mark Britt said: “I have had a fantastic three years leading Mi9/ninemsn. The business has come through huge change, moving from business a successful joint venture to a fully integrated part of NEC with a really bright future on the horizon. I’ve been presented with a rare opportunity to start a new business that only comes along once in a lifetime.

I’d like to thank David for his support in allowing me to pursue this, while staying on with Nine in an advisory capacity at least until 2016. I look forward to working with Alex Parsons as Mi9 continues to evolve as a key part of the best positioned media company in the country”.

Alex Parsons said: ‘Having worked with Nine Entertainment Co. for a number of years, most recently running their RateCity joint venture, I am very excited about taking Nine’s broader digital media assets into the future.’

Mr Gyngell said StreamCo, NEC’s newly formed SVOD business headed by Mike Sneesby, was moving rapidly from a technology business into a creative content business as it approaches a launch later in the current financial year. As this business moves into a pre-launch phase Mike will report directly to Mr Gyngell.

Broader NEC strategic digital responsibilities would be assumed by the NEC Group Strategy team under Melanie Kansil who has a background of hands-on experience across a range of digital businesses.