Newly appointed Bauer Xcel managing director Christian Fricke has slashed three senior roles at the publisher in his first major move, admitting the company has not met its business targets.
Christian Fricke: ‘We did not manage to meet the business targets that were forecasted’
In an email to staff, Fricke, who was appointed to the Australian arm of the business in July, said: “I had to take a very tough decision during the last days and wanted to inform you today about the following changes in Bauer Xcel ANZ.
“As you are aware I have been reviewing the digital business since my arrival last month. Unfortunately, we did not manage to meet the business targets that were forecasted about a year ago. I think all of you did a great job in the past but the aspirations were just too high to be achievable in the given time frame.”
The note continues with Fricke outlining he had to review the company’s processes and roles to “make sure the set-up and costs fit to the revenue opportunities”.
As a result, Bauer Xcel has split the audience management team, with EDM and promotions to report directly to Fricke while social media will “follow a more editorialised strategy” and report into Bauer Xcel content director Emily Kerr and privacy responsibilities will transition to legal.
Fernando finishes up at Xcel after nearly four years
Fricke said: “As a result of this split, the role of audience management director and corporate counsel has been made redundant and Sarla [Fernando] will be finishing up with Bauer.”
Fernando had been with the company since December 2012.
Further changes will see the product and technology teams merged to work “side-by-side under Richard Lennox”, Bauer Xcel’s CTO.
Fricke said: “As a result, the role of head of product has been made redundant and Ana Almeida will be finishing up with Bauer Xcel.”
Ana Almeida’s head of product role axed
Almeida joined Bauer Xcel as senior product manager in February 2013 before being promoted to head of product in December last year.
On the video front, Fricke said: “creating profitable video operations is one of the most challenging tasks we have as a digital publisher.
“Due to the low number of video views we generate per video, we were not able to earn back our production costs in the past.
“We will review the current processes and integrate video into the editorial teams. Therefore the role of Video Manager has been made redundant and Dallas Baird will be finishing up with Xcel.”
Dallas Baird finishing up with Xcel
Baird joined Bauer Xcel in August 2014.
Fricke finished by thanking the three staff for “the great work they did in the past”.
“They will finish up tomorrow already. If you have any questions over the coming days, please feel free to see me directly. I will also update all of you shortly on our new Bauer Xcel Media org chart and digital business strategy moving forward,” the note said.
Fricke told Mumbrella: “I want to thank the three colleagues who are leaving the Xcel business. They have all made a significant contribution and I wish them every success in the future. We made these decisions reluctantly and in the best interests of ensuring future growth of the business.”