Ed Harrison departs Isentia less than a year after Access Intelligence merger

Mumbrella can reveal Ed Harrison, chief executive officer at Isentia, has departed the business this week.

The company confirmed to Mumbrella that Access Intelligence group CEO, Joanna Arnold had announced to the company on Tuesday that Harrison had resigned.

Ed Harrison

In a statement to Mumbrella, Arnold said: “Ed was a key leader throughout the transition period but as the company began to launch the new global strategy, he decided it was the right time for him to step away and leave the management team to shape and execute on the new plan. I would like to thank Ed for supporting Access Intelligence and Isentia through the transition and wish him well as he pursues his next career move.”

Harrison added: “I have enjoyed my time as CEO of Isentia and am extremely proud of the team and what was achieved in those four years, and would like to thank everyone at Isentia for all their hard work and dedication.  I wish the company well in the next chapter.”

Harrison took over a faltering Isentia in July 2018, with its ASX stock price sitting at $0.79, dropping from $2.22 just one year prior, and consistently falling since it reached its peak of $4.83 in December 2015. During his tenure, the share price continued to drop, eventually flatlining, sitting at $0.07 just prior to the takeover from Access Intelligence.

Access Intelligence, CEO, Joanna Arnold

Former Yahoo7 CEO, Harrison succeeded John Croll, who stepped down after two years of share price decline, and a $48m writing off of the company’s disastrous King Content investment. In his first financial year in charge, Isentia posted a loss of $34 million.

In October 2020, Isentia took a further hit, impacted by the cyber attack incident, which had an approximately $3.3 million direct impact on revenue, and approximately $4.4 million direct impact on cash.

The eventual deal in July last year saw the ASX-listed entity acquired for $0.17 cents, with the eventual acquisition going through last September.

As part of the takeover last year, Arnold group CEO relocated to Australia, with Harrison remaining lead across the market to help drive the operations across both Australia and New Zealand. Harrison has led the ANZ and South-East Asian markets since he took over, and helped navigate Isentia through the acquisition by the UK AIM-listed firm, Access Intelligence last year.

Last year, Arnold spoke to Mumbrella about the next phase of investment, for the bounceback of Isentia, following the merger.

“Combined we have the opportunity to create a next generation of media intelligence that is truly customer centric and highly innovative, providing clients with a deeper understanding of key consumers and other stakeholders. We plan to accelerate investment in Isentia’s existing products as a fundamental part of our innovation roadmap.”

Arnold said that its “key priority” at its first stage is to invest in internal investments within Isentia, before focussing on any external opportunities.

“It’s very early days, it’s only been the first week, but the first thing we’re doing is to see how we can support accelerating what work Isentia already provides to its clients. This will naturally lead to partnerships locally.”

Isentia said a replacement will be announced in due course, with Harrison leaving at the start of August.


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