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Nine rejects reports of Matt James defection to Yahoo!7

MattSources at the Nine Entertainment have dismissed reports that newly promoted group director of the company’s creative division Powered Matt James may defect to run the operations of rival Yahoo!7.

The speculation, in today’s Australian Financial Review, comes after the sudden resignation of Stuart Sayers as CEO of the digital joint venture between Seven West Media and Yahoo!7 earlier this month.

“It’s laughable, Matt James is an excellent executive who was only just promoted,” said a Nine source.

James was previously the managing director of media at Mi9 but was promoted ten days ago to head an expanded creative services division Powered by Nine, where he is to oversee the broader business and help build its digital capacity.

“There is no way he would go to Yahoo!7,” said the Nine source, who said the promotion had been in the works for some time and was not related to an offer from their digital rival, which officially began searching for replacement after Sayers departure on November 15.

The Nine source also said James had a multi-year contract and was not in a position to defect. “Matt has a multi-year contract while we applaud their attempts to poach him — he is not going anywhere,” said the source.

James joined the company in 2012 coming across from the UK where he was managing director of Starcom Mediavest Group.

At the time of posting Yahoo!7 had not responded to requests for comment.

Nic Christensen 

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