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JCDecaux installs new leadership after $1.2bn APN takeover

Three APN Outdoor executives have been made redundant following the $1.2 billion takeover by global outdoor advertising giant JCDecaux. APN CEO James Warburton announced last month he would also be leaving following the completion of the deal.

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 Pitt St Mall, Sydney.

New JCDecaux Australia and New Zealand CEO Steve O’Connor announced a new leadership team for the combined JCDecaux and APN Outdoor businesses, which includes a mix of executives from both companies.

“It will be business as usual for the two companies during the integration planning phase, which will be implemented in New Year,” JCDecaux said in a statement. 

 Business as usual: CEO Steve O'Connor

Joining O’Connor, will be: chief operating officer Andrew Hines, who is currently COO at APN Outdoor where he has spent 16 years; chief financial officer Brendan O’Neil, who joined JCDecaux in 1998, when the company entered the Australian market; chief commercial officer Max Eburne, who will focus on advertiser and agency revenue and currently has in the same role at JCDecaux; chief strategy and innovation officer Jeremy Howe - currently in the same role at APN; chief marketing officer Essie Wake, the current CMO at JCDecaux; and NZ country head Mike Watkins, who is currently in the same role at APN. 

“I am confident that we have the right combination of talent, skills and experience in our new leadership team who will now work together to create a market leading Out-of-Home company in Australia and New Zealand,” O’Connor said.

Three APN Outdoor executives made redundant in the reshuffle are former CFO Philip Knox, former GM of people, culture and performance Annaliese van Riet and GM sales Mark Fairhurst. Former GM of marketing Charlotte Valente announced earlier this week she was also leaving.

“As the world’s largest Out of Home advertising company, we can bring all the benefits a global brand can offer and, with the addition of APN Outdoor’s scale and expertise, behave like the market leader that we are,” said O’Connor. “The leadership team and I will work closely to combine our talent, capabilities, products and technology to deliver our clients a world-class offering.”

In a statement from its headquarters in Paris, JCDecaux SA said: The number one outdoor advertising company worldwide, announces that the scheme of arrangement between APN Outdoor and its shareholders that was approved by APN Outdoor shareholders on October 15th, 2018 and the Federal Court of Australia (NSW) on October 18th, 2018 (Scheme) was implemented today (October 31st).

With effect from the implementation of the Scheme, Doug Flynn, Pat O'Sullivan, Jack Matthews, Lisa Chung and James Warburton have resigned as directors of APN Outdoor. Stephen O'Connor (currently the Chief Executive Officer of JCDecaux Australia), Andrew Hines (currently the Chief Operating Officer of APN Outdoor) and Brendan O'Neill (currently the Chief Financial Officer of JCDecaux Australia) have been appointed as the new directors of APN Outdoor.

Jean-François Decaux, co-chief executive officer of JCDecaux, said: "The completion of our acquisition of APN Outdoor represents a significant milestone in our global growth strategy, making Australia our 4th largest market and entering a new attractive market such as New Zealand. JCDecaux is now well positioned to provide a compelling proposition to compete more effectively in the Australian media market where OOH represents only 6% of advertising spend with DOOH's share being nearly 50%."

APN Outdoor Group Limited was removed from the official list of the ASX at the close of trading today on Thursday, 1 November, following implementation of the deal.

In its latest half-year results released in August 2018, APN said the majority of its revenue continued to be generated from printed or ‘classic’ billboards, despite the rapid increase in digital conversions, which now accounted for 42% of revenue. Major competitor oOh!media has reported that 64 percent of its revenue was now from digital.


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