News Corp has promoted Mark Drasutis into an expanded role as chief product officer for digital. He remains the Head of Innovation but now has an expanded remit that includes responsibility of digital product.
Drasutis told B&T that it was a very exciting time to be involved in media.
While acknowledging that News Corp was “as far away from a start up as you can get”, the company had entrepreneurship in its DNA. Drasutis pointed to the mercurial Rupert Murdoch as a case in point who took an Adelaide newspaper and built it into the biggest news organisation in the world.
The promotion of Drasutis points to the companies determination to reinvent itself with “customers at the centre of the business”.
He added that through initiatives such as News Foundry, the company had strong ties with the start-up sector. He also said that News Corp gave start-ups what they needed most – distribution and amplificiation.
“We’re in the need to know business,” he said. “Take the real estate business. From our acquisition of REA Group through to HiPages and InsideOut . . . we help you with what you need to know when you buy it, renovate it or decorate it.”
Drasutis also alluded to more acquisitions in the pipeline for News Corp although he wouldn’t be drawn on whether they included a free-to-air TV network.
“Investment and acquisition has to be part of the mix for a business our size . . . you can’t invent everything,” he said.
He also added that you didn’t have to own everything in this day and age pointing to relationships with Facebook, Google and other social media channels that assist News Corp disseminate its information be it originated or curated.
News Corp Australia chief technology officer Alisa Bowen said in a statement:
“These changes reflect our goal of streamlining the organisation, increasing accountability and better supporting our customer-centric focus.
“I’m thrilled Mark is taking on broader responsibility for leadership of the digital consumer product team, including engineering, digital platforms, product management and product delivery,” Alisa said.
“Mark will continue to be responsible for our innovation agenda and bringing the two functions together should help ensure our most important innovation priorities receive the development resource they deserve.”