Nine shuffles executive team, naming APEX’s Pippa Leary as new commercial director of digital sales

Nine is shuffling its executive team, appointing APEX boss Pippa Leary as commercial director of digital sales, Mumbrella can reveal.

Alex Parsons, Pippa Leary and Michael Stephenson

Mumbrella understands the executive shuffle comes with a handful of redundancies related to the restructure, however Nine declined to comment on the details.

Alex Parsons, Nine’s chief digital and marketing officer, said: “We have a continuing focus on ensuring our business is positioned in the best possible way to manage the demands of clients and the audience.”

Leary joins Nine after three years as CEO of Fairfax and Nine’s programmatic exchange APEX which launched two years ago.

With Leary’s new role, she will take on a role on the board of APEX while APEX director of products and data Kristina Ranson will run day-to-day operations of the premium inventory exchange which now represents Fairfax, Nine and Red Planet.

Michael Stephenson, Nine’s chief sales officer, said Leary – who also spent a decade as a senior executive at Fairfax Media – was one of the industry’s leading digital executives.

“Her experience and seniority is without peer and I’m rapt that she is joining our Nine Sales leadership team as we invest in the most talented executives to drive growth.

“Pippa will lead a team that includes some of Australia’s most experienced digital specialists, hand chosen to focus on the key growth areas of programmatic sales, content led sales, video, mobile and native sales.”

Leary will report to both Stephenson and Parsons.

Ben Gunn takes on new role

With Leary taking on the commercial director of digital sales position, Ben Gunn, current digital sales director, has taken on the new role of director of sales – agency.

Alongside Leary’s appointment and Gunn’s new role, Nine has also expanded the role of head of content partnerships Amy Schubert to director of sales and content partnerships – 9Honey. Director of digital sales product Nathan Powell has taken on the slightly new title of director of sales – digital product.

Nine will also shortly announce a new director of sales – programmatic to round out its new digital leadership group

The commercial shakeup comes as Parsons also creates two new executive roles in the Nine digital business.

9Honey editor Kerri Elstub with Helen McCabe and Anna Quinn

Head of product Roxanne Hoad has been promoted to product and audience director, while head of content strategy Anna Quinn has been named as content and commercial strategy director.

Parsons said:  “Nine’s business strategy is simple: we create great content, we distribute it broadly and we engage audiences and advertisers, and we know this team will help us accelerate our path of continued growth.

“The changes being made today will make us even more competitive in the digital landscape as we ramp up our content creation and focus on improving the monetisation of many of our exciting platforms – such as, 9Honey and 9Now – that we have built out over the past few years.

“Roxanne’s new role will be focused on ways to improve our understanding, acquisition and engagement of our audience, while Anna will be charged with working closely with both the editorial and sales teams to develop our strategy around content and commercial outcomes, as well as leading our native studios offering.

“Together with Pippa’s appointment, this new aligned digital structure will help us to be even more competitive in market as we are able to develop better digital solutions for our clients in brand-safe premium environments.”

The executive shakeup follows on from a wider investment into content with Nine launching lifestyle brand 9Honey a year ago after appointing former Women’s Weekly editor-in-chief Helen McCabe as head of lifestyle.

More recently, appointed The Australian’s Simon King as homepage editor.

The investment comes as fights ABC News websites for second spot on the Nielsen Digital Ratings (Monthly) rankings. fell into third place in March with a unique audience of 4.561m, while ABC News websites had an audience of 4.853m. News Corp’s held onto the top spot with a March unique audience of 5.732m.


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