News Corp’s outgoing chief commercial officer Sharb Farjami (pictured above) has dismissed industry speculation that he’s been poached by arch-rival Fairfax Media.
Farjami’s departure was announced yesterday by News Corp in a carefully worded statement to media. B&T spoke to Farjarmi who was coy on his future plans but dismissed the rumour he was headed over to Fairfax out of hand.
Farjarmi has also been linked to a senior role with media agency OMD.
There had been speculation that Farjami was being groomed to take over from incumbent Fairfax CEO Greg Hywood who has been in the job for over five years and is said to be eyeing the exits.
Hywood has managed the Fairfax business through particularly tumultuous times that has included large staff redundancies, plummeting ad revenues and speculation the weekday print editions of its mastheads The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald were to be axed.
In May, following more redundancies, Fairfax journalists passed a vote of no confidence in Hywood describing him as “overpaid and underperforming”.
B&T also contacted Fairfax for comment, however, it is in a media blackout prior to the announcement of its end of financials next week.
It is understood that Farjarmi’s departure from News was amicable and he is still employed at the business.
In yesterday’s announcement of his departure, News Corp Australasia’s chairman Michael Miller said: “I am disappointed to be losing a colleague of Sharb’s talent but I respect his decision.
“I would like to thank him for the contribution he has made to our business and for the leadership he has shown and I am pleased Sharb has committed to help us deliver our optimal sales structure for the future. The media and marketing worlds continue to fragment and become more complex and it is this dynamic that is driving the need to develop the structure and services that best meet our clients’ needs.”