Don Voelte replaces David Leckie at helm of Seven West Media

One of media’s most dramatic months in memory has continued, with Seven West Media announcing a new boss.

David Leckie will step down from the helm of Seven West Media and be replaced by Don Voelte. Seven West Media’s assets include the Seven Network, Pacific Magazines, The West Australian newspaper and the Yahoo!7 joint venture.

Although already a director of Seven West Media, Voelte comes from a non media background. He’s been CEO and MD of Woodside Energy for the last seven years and before that spent four years at Chroma Energy.

Leckie will remain involved in the organisation with a new role owner Kerry Stokes’ Seven Group Holdings which also has stakes in Consolidated Media and Prime Media. News Limited is currently bidding to buy Consolidated, which owns half of Fox Sports and 25% of Foxtel.

Leckie’s departure from Seven’s day to day operation comes as little surprise. Questions have been raised about his health and Tim Worner stepped up as CEO of television late last year.

Leckie led the turnaround of the Seven Network after he was ousted from Nine.

The announcement:

David Leckie announces new role as Executive Director, Seven Group Holdings.

Don Voelte appointed Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Seven West Media

26 June 2012 — David Leckie today announced his decision to transition from his role as Chief Executive Officer of Seven West Media to a new role as Executive Director, Media for Seven Group Holdings.

Don Voelte, the former Managing Director and CEO of Woodside and currently a director of Seven West Media, has been appointed CEO and Managing Director of Seven West Media. Mr Voelte will lead an experienced media executive team across the company’s television, online, magazines and newspaper businesses: Tim Worner, CEO Television, Nick Chan, CEO Pacific Magazines, Rohan Lund, CEO Yahoo!7, Chris Wharton, CEO Seven West Media (Western Australia) and Kurt Burnette, Chief Sales and Digital Officer.

Mr Leckie said: “I am looking forward to this new role. It’s been a great honour to lead Seven. We’ve had fun, kicked some goals and together built a very good media business. But it’s time for me to take a career step and I’m looking forward to playing a key role in Seven Group Holdings and further enhancing the company’s media presence. I am also looking forward to working with Don and his great team of media executives.”

Mr Voelte said: “I love building sustainable businesses. We have the best brands in the media and we have a strong management team. My role is to harness these businesses and its leaders. Our objectives are clear: leadership in a sector undergoing radical change, develop our management teams, improve our financial performance without impacting the product for our readers, viewers and advertisers, and create opportunities to expand our presence in media.

Commenting on Mr Voelte’s appointment, Mr Stokes said: “Don is internationally recognised as one of the world’s best executives and as a director of Seven West Media, he has made a strong contribution to the development of the business. He is acknowledged for driving businesses in challenging and competitive markets. He is a highly qualified executive who will lead a skilled management team as we take advantage of the significant opportunities in media over the coming years.”

Mr Leckie – who has successfully guided the development of Seven West Media over the past nine years – will continue his involvement in media and as part of Seven as an executive director on the board of Seven Group Holdings, which has major shareholdings in Seven West Media, Consolidated Media and Prime Media. He will also continue to be involved in Seven’s television business in an advisory and counsel role working closely with Mr Voelte and CEO of Seven Network Television, Tim Worner.

Commenting, the Chairman of Seven West Media, Mr Kerry Stokes, paid tribute to Mr Leckie: “David’s track record confirms that he is undoubtedly the best television executive in Australia, leading two television networks to leadership over the past two decades. He is a strong leader and has built a strong and well-credentialled management team. He commands the respect of the people here at Seven West Media and across the entire industry.

“David has been fundamental to our success and we are looking forward to him continuing to play a key role in our company as a director on the board of Seven Group Holdings with a particular focus on that company’s media investments. On a personal note, I enjoy David’s company and value his contribution to our success highly.”

Seven West Media Directors reaffirm FY12 full year underlying trading EBIT estimates in line with the previous guidance of $460m to $470m, subject to any year-end review and audit adjustments.


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