APN appoints new CEO

APN Outdoor has appointed current managing director of V8 Supercars Australia James Warburton as its new CEO , to succeed the retiring Richard Herring who has been the company’s CEO for 13 years.

Warburton says, “I am excited to be back in the media industry, a sector I am passionate about. APN Outdoor has a strong reputation for innovation in the OOH industry demonstrated by its leadership position in digital roadside billboards in Australia and its leadership in New Zealand via the strategic use of data to enhance the value proposition of OOH for advertisers.

“I look forward to working with the board, management and staff at APN Outdoor to grow the business, to continue to build on its leading market position and to provide innovative solutions to support both advertisers and the overall OOH industry.”

APN’s latest results show a third of its revenue is made up by digital screens, its digital revenue was up 27 per cent with classic billboards remaining stable. Its revenue was up 8 per cent to $162.3m from previous year.

[Related: APN Digital soars 27 per cent]

Doug Flynn chairman at APN Outdoor says, “Warburton brings to the company extensive executive leadership experience, with a significant understanding of complex media environments including OOH media, dealing with key advertisers and media agencies, developing new income streams, and dealing with technological change and digital disruption.

“On behalf of the board I welcome Warburton to the APN Outdoor team. We also thank Wayne Castle for his significant contribution as Interim CEO during this period of change. Castle will revert to his previous role as CFO upon Warburton’s commencement in the group.”

Warburton comes to APN Outdoor with 16 years’ experience in CEO roles with V8 Supercars Australia, Ten Network Holdings, and Universal McCann. Warburton was also a director of Eye Corp, Ten Network’s outdoor media business.

In addition to his CEO experience, Warburton also has more than 20 years’ experience in marketing and sales leadership roles at Seven Network, Yahoo!7, DDB Needham and McCann Erickson.

APN says Warburton’s hands-on experience leading companies within the media sector, navigating evolving technology platforms, and creating value for stakeholders, means he is well positioned to lead APN Outdoor through its next growth phase.

Warburton was most recently CEO and MD at V8 Supercars Australia, where he transformed the business from a traditional media rights company to a sport with an enhanced fan experience both trackside and via a range of media platforms, developed line extensions for the brand including new categories and race styles and positioned the company for growth outside Australia. Over the four years he was CEO, V8 Supercars Australia grew revenues by more than 40 per cent and grew EBIT by 140 per cent.

Warburton will start his new role on January 22. 

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