Marina Go to leave Private Media for Sydney-based role

marina goThe CEO of Crikey’s owner Private Media is to depart, Mumbrella can reveal.

Marina Go, who took on the role just a year ago, is to leave for family reasons. She announced the move to staff a few minutes ago. Chief operating officer Jason Kibsgaard will become acting CEO.

The independently owned Private Media, which also publishes Women’s Agenda, Smart Company, Property Observer, Start Up Smart and Mandarin, is headquartered in Melbourne. Go lives in Sydney where the company also has an office.

Go told Mumbrella that she was making the choice because her son was of HSC age and she was spending a couple of nights a week in Melbourne. Her husband works nights on The Australian.

She said: “It’s a very difficult decision, but it’s the right decision. It’s not a decision a parent should have to make, but unfortunately it is.”

Go will stay with Private Media until September.

She told Mumbrella that while she had been struggling with the decision to leave for some time, a job offer in Sydney had focused her mind. Her new role is likely to be announced next week.

Go was promoted to CEO in October last year after joining the company as publishing director. She succeeded Amanda Gome who was ousted by the Private Media board in 2012.

Go is one of Australia’s most experienced media executive including having been a journalist for News Corp, editor of Dolly and managing editor of Cosmo, group publisher at Pacific Magazines, GM of magazines for Fairfax Media and publishing director at Emap. She is also an advisory board member of the Walkley Foundation and a director of the Odyssey House McGrath Foundation.

She said of Private Media: “I love this business. It’s got the best team. I’m absolutely convinced the business is set up for success.”

In a company announcement to staff, chairman Eric Beecher said the company was in its best state it had been for many years.

The memo:


I have some disappointing news: Marina has decided to leave Private Media later this year.

The reasons are entirely personal, and are due to the strains on her family as a result of the weekly commute from Sydney to Melbourne, which she has found has become unworkable.

Jason Kibsgaard will become Acting CEO after Marina finishes up in late September. In the meantime, Jason will work closely with Marina and the leadership team to bed down the strategy and budget planning that has set up the company for a strong 2015 year.

The board is obviously disappointed at this news, but we are also confident that the company is strategically positioned to grow strongly, with an outstanding team of people at every level, the right structure and a dynamic and creative culture. Private Media is in its best state for several years, confident in its direction and oozing with talent. Revenues are growing, subscriptions are at an all-time high and Marina has been instrumental in setting up the company for success.

The board believes that Private Media is in one of the sweetest spots of all, having assembled a suite of websites that attract well over 1 million individual engaged Australians every month in subject categories that are highly attractive to advertisers, partners and subscribers, and therefore much more resistant to the downward pricing pressures that are affecting general interest mass media.

Next month we will launch our newest property, The Mandarin, a subscription website for one of the country’s most elusive and attractive audience segments — the 250,000 senior executives in the federal and state public sector, who between them are responsible for annual expenditure of around $500 billion. We have assembled a top-class team to manage to project, headed by Tom Burton and Jason Whittaker, and a high-calibre Advisory Board that includes Ken Henry, Geoff Gallup, Terry Moran, Lucy Turnbull and Graeme Samuel, all of whom are passionate public advocates for The Mandarin. The early response has been very positive.

I asked Marina to explain her decision to you in her own words:

“This has truly been the most difficult decision of my career. I will be leaving a company that I love, the best team I have ever worked with and a Board that have offered me nothing but support during my tenure as CEO. But it’s no secret that I have been struggling with the weekly travel and the impact that has had on my family. I have spent months trying to work out how I could travel less but still offer this company the leadership that it needs and deserves and I reached the conclusion that it wouldn’t be fair on you. I love this company far too much to do the job on terms that suit me first.

“I am enormously proud of what we have achieved together to date and I know that this business will go on to greater success when I am gone. In the meantime we have three months together and I will continue to give you and this business everything that I have during that time.”

Feel free to talk to Marina, Jason or me about any of this.


Tim Burrowes


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