Network Ten's outgoing chief sales officer Barry O’Brien (pictured) has told B&T that he’s keeping his options open following his decision to depart the network, refusing to rule out a return to media agency work.
A statement from Network Ten announced that O’Brien had decided to step down – effective July 31- after just 13 months in the role.
O’Brien, a former boss of media agency PHD and one of the media industry’s most well known and respected characters, told B&T this morning that his decision to step aside has been on amicable terms with Ten, and that he's weighing up a number of options that he may pursue following his departure.
“I’ve got a couple of things running around my head about where I'll go from here, but right now I'll just see how it unfolds,” said O’Brien.
“I’m a media bloke, I’ve been working on this [network] side of fence the last 13 months, and previouslyhad a big career on the other side of fence, so we'll see."
He added: “This is by no means the end, it’s the beginning of the next chapter for me."
On the decision to leave Network Ten earlier than expected, O’Brien said he’d achieved what he set out to when he took over the position last year.
“When I walked in here, the buyers had turned away, the analysts had turned away. The market was beating on us, some of which was justified. My job was to calm this down, put a replacement in place, and I’ve done that.”
Network Ten has confirmed its sales department will now be run by national sales director, Louise Barrett.
Its chief executive officer, Hamish McLennan, said: “We are very sorry to see Barry go, but we understand his desire to step back from his current role and look for new opportunities.
“He was hired to stabilise and restructure Network Ten’s sales department, and to find a successor. He achieved those objectives, and more,” he added.
O’Brien was a founding partner and CEO at media agency Total Advertising from 1991. In 2008 the agency was relaunched as PHD, part of the Omnicom network.