Nine names new leadership team, fewer than 100 staff affected by redundancies

Nine CEO Hugh Marks has unveiled his new leadership team and plans for redundancies ahead of the launch of joint Fairfax Nine entity.

From December 10, Chris Janz, Fairfax Media’s managing director – metro publishing, will become managing director, publishing, a role which encompasses Nine digital, events and metro, while Allen Williams, will continue to lead Australian Community Media.

Nine’s Hugh Marks revealed the leadership team the morning

The New Zealand business, Stuff, will report to Williams, but will continue to be run by CEO Sinead Boucher. Stan will continue to run under CEO Mike Sneesby, while television remains under Michael Healy. Domain and Macquarie Media, of which Nine has acquired majority stakes in, will be run by Jason Pellegrino and Adam Lang respectively.

Domain’s marketing lead, Melina Cruickshank, defected to REA Group over the weekend.

Fairfax Media’s chief financial officer, David Housego, general counsel, Gail Hambly, group director of strategy and corporate development, Dhruv Gupta and human resources lead, Michelle Williams, and director of communications, Brad Hatch, were not named in the new team.

Nine’s Greg Barnes will remain in his role as chief financial officer, and Michael Stephenson will continue in his role as chief sales officer. Nine’s Lizzie Young will continue as group director of content strategy, which includes Powered.

Other Nine executives include Alexi Baker, director of strategy and corporate development, Rachel Launders, general counsel and company secretary, and Vanessa Morley, who will continue as director of people and culture.

Fairfax Media CEO Greg Hywood will step down, as flagged on the day of the merger announcement.

At the same time, 144 roles will be made redundant, to avoid duplication. However, just 92 people are expected to be impacted by the redundancies, a small number compared to the 6,000 employees in the new business. Mumbrella understands those impacted will be spoken to in the next couple of weeks.

Chris Janz

Janz: To lead Nine’s publishing business

In a note sent to staff, Marks said he would seek to redeploy affected employees where appropriate, or otherwise have immediate access to outplacement services.

“By the end of the coming week, we will have completed most of the work needed in relation to ‘synergies’, including redundancies,” Marks said.

“IT is one exception.  The focus has been on critical day one needs and we are yet to decide the best path forward for duplicate systems such as ERP, HR, payroll, office productivity and content management.  We will stay in touch with the relevant teams as we work through those decisions.

“Thank you to everyone for your patience as we have worked through the process. We can now move forward with confidence as a stronger and more sustainable business with many new and exciting opportunities ahead. This is truly an amazing opportunity for our combined future.”

Out-going Fairfax boss Hywood thanked staff for the “magnificent jobs” they had been doing.

“Now virtually complete, this exciting merger with Nine is the right next step for Fairfax Media. Our businesses will be better for it and the opportunities for our people will expand over time,” Hywood said.

“As you would be aware, I will be leaving the business along with several members of the ELT – David Housego, Gail Hambly, Michelle Williams, Dhruv Gupta and Brad Hatch. We will finish up on Friday, 7 December. I would like to acknowledge and thank them for the enormous contribution they have made to Fairfax over the years and the support they have provided me.”

The latest announcement comes a week after The Federal Court approved the merger of Fairfax Media and Nine. The merger sees Nine acquire a 51.1% stake in the Fairfax media business, and the Fairfax Media corporate brand absorbed.

The Nine and Fairfax Media merger timeline:



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