Ovato New Zealand appoints new managing director

Former Bauer Media commercial director Paul Gardiner will take on the position of managing director of Ovato’s New Zealand operations by the end of the year, replacing Simon Ellis who is departing after four years in charge.

Gardiner brings has more than 30 years of media and marketing experience to the role and says he is looking forward to returning home to take up the new position. Previously Gardiner was the commercial director at magazine publisher, Bauer Media.

Ovato chief executive officer Kevin Slaven says he has worked alongside Gardiner in both his role with Bauer Media but also when the two served on the board of The Real Media Collective, of which Slaven is the current chairman.

“I’ve been able to witness Paul’s impact firsthand firstly as a client of Ovato and more recently with our time together on the Board of the Real Media Collective,” Slaven said.

“One of the core elements of our strategy is a focus on our customers and being able to bring a talented commercial and innovative leader back to New Zealand and into this role will allow us to focus even more fully on our customers’ needs.”

The appointment comes after the New Zealand arm of the company reported a 4.8 per cent slide in revenue contributing to an across the board revenue drop of 8.8 per cent, or $669.2m for the full year 2019.

Gardiner says he is looking forward to stepping into the role and building on the company’s strengthen since it rebranded from PMP to Ovato in February 2019.

“There are many common challenges across print and publishing, and I feel I’m coming into the role with both eyes open and a demonstrated passion and belief in the sector,” Gardiner said.

“I’m excited to be able to come home into this role and build on the strength that the Ovato business has shown since the rebrand last February.”

Slaven also acknowledged Ellis’ contribution to the business. Ellis is returning home to Tauranga to spend more time with family and look towards future opportunities either within or outside of the media industry of which he has been involved in for 40 years.

Ellis has been credited with cementing Ovato’s reputation as a quality print partner including recognition as the most awarded web print company at Pride in Print.

He is also acknowledged as a passionate industry advocate who has served as president of the NZ Community Newspapers Association until 2018 and has recently offered a strong voice on the government’ proposed changes to industry training.

Ellis is returning home to Tauranga to spend more time with family and look towards future opportunities either within or outside of the Media Industry where he has worked for over 40 years.

“Simon is an excellent leader who can be proud of the work he has done for us at Ovato and the wider impact he has made across the New Zealand print industry. We wish him well,” Slaven said.

Gardiner will join the company before the end of the year to meet the team and start 2020 on the front foot.

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