Seven West Media CEO James Warburton steps down, effective immediately

The CEO and managing director of Seven West Media, James Warburton, has stepped down effective immediately following Thursday afternoon’s board meeting.

While he was originally due to finish up at Seven towards the end of FY24, as reported in December, Warburton’s resignation is effective Thursday, April 18, following a number of recent controversies, including an expenses scandal investigation by the Sydney Morning Herald, a former Spotlight producer claiming the network paid for drugs, sex workers and more to secure an interview with Bruce Lehrmann, and more.

UPDATE: Warburton’s out – So, who’s running Seven now?

Current chief financial officer Jeff Howard has been appointed as the incoming managing director and chief executive officer. He will start the new role on Friday.

Seven West Media’s Chairman, Kerry Stokes AC, and Howard, both thanked Warburton for his contribution to the business.

On last week’s episode of the Mumbrellacast, Mumbrella editor Neil Griffiths and publisher Adam Lang discussed the controversy coming out of the TV giant in recent weeks and Warburton’s rumoured departure.

“It’s not really a consumer issue, as in, the millions of people that watch and read and consume their content, that’s probably not of major concern to them. But as trading partners for the business of media and advertising who trade with Seven: ‘Who am I going to be dealing with and who’s running the show?’ That is a change,” Lang said.

“This is more about the employment brand. And so, you can see that the change from James Walburton to Jeff Howard is coming, [that] may be brought forward. And then you look at, well, why would that happen?

“These are big changes and a lot of speculation that maybe through all of that, perhaps it makes sense to change to a new leader earlier than was planned.”

Listen to the full episode here.

The network is currently still looking for a new chief financial officer to replace Howard.


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