Swift Media Snares Nine’s Pippa Leary As New CEO

Swift Media Snares Nine’s Pippa Leary As New CEO
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Swift Media has appointed Pippa Leary as its new CEO.

Leary will formally join Swift Media in August 2019.

Current director Darren Smorgon has also been appointed non-executive chairman, effective immediately.

Leary brings a proven track record of commercial innovation and success in the digital media space, having spent more than 20 years with Nine Entertainment Company and Fairfax Media, as well as several non-executive roles.

Prior to joining Swift, she was commercial director of Nine’s digital sales team, achieving the number one ranking in the Australian market during her tenure, and is the former CEO of APEX Advertising, a joint venture between Nine and Fairfax Media.

Prior to APEX, Leary held the role of MD of the media division at Fairfax Digital where she was responsible for the launch of WA Today, Brisbane Times, The Vine and Business Day.

During her tenure at Fairfax she was also involved in the acquisitions and integrations of RSVP, Stayz, Essential Baby and Weatherzone.

Commenting on her appointment, she said: “I’m excited about the opportunity Swift Media represents. As a digital out-of-home marketing platform, the fundamentals of Swift are strongly positive.

“The team has built a profitable business servicing client with communication and entertainment solutions in the key verticals of mining, aged care, hospitality and health.

“The recent acquisition of Medical Media has allowed Swift to further diversify its revenue streams and move into adjacent markets.

“The key driver of Swift’s current success is its passionate team with a positive culture of continuous innovation.

“I am confident that adding Darren Smorgon as chairman and myself as CEO sets the business up to take Swift’s products, revenue and profitability to the next level.”

Smorgon has been a non-executive director on Swift’s board since February 2019 after having previously served on the board of Medical Media for three years prior to its acquisition by Swift.

He is MD of Sandbar Investments, a Sydney-based family office, and prior to that, spent 16 years at CHAMP Private Equity where he led several deals including the privatisation and subsequent re-listing of oOh!Media Ltd.

He is also currently a non-executive director and chairman of the Remuneration Committee of oOh!media, the chairman of coworking facility provider Hub Australia Pty Limited, and a non-executive director of Total Drain Cleaning Pty Limited.

Commenting on his appointment, he said: “I am excited to become Chair of Swift and thank the board for its support to increase my involvement in this exciting business.

“The great foundations built by our outgoing CEO Xavier Kris and the management team give Pippa as incoming CEO a fantastic platform from which to build a new type of media business, focussing in particular on providing quality, targeted content to closed loop environments, and to serve local and national advertising in particular to the health sector.”

In December 2018, Swift announced the acquisition of digital out-of-home media network Medical Media and is currently ahead of schedule on its integration.

Once the integration is complete, Medical Media’s advertising capability and close relationships with more than 2,300 advertisers will provide significant scope for Swift to enhance the monetisation of its existing network and grow new revenue streams.

Commenting on both appointments, Swift director Robert Sofoulis said: “The appointments of Pippa and Darren mark a new chapter in Swift’s history.

“We are excited to have secured such experienced and skilful personnel to head up our Board and Management.

“Pippa brings a formidable track record of creating value for shareholders of companies that operate in markets where communications, content and advertising interface, and I look forward to her leading the next phase of Swift Media’s growth.

“I also look forward to Darren contributing strongly with his substantial corporate, strategy and ASX-listed governance experience.

“I wish to recognise and thank our outgoing CEO, Xavier Kris, for his valued contribution to the growth of the company during his tenure of three years as CEO – a period during which Swift achieved significant operational and strategic development.”

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