Seven’s James Warburton new boss of Ten; James Packer resigns from board

james_warburtonSeven’s sales boss James Warburton has been named as CEO of Network Ten with major shareholder James Packer resigning his seat on the board.

Warburton, previously chief sales and digital officer at Seven, replaces Grant Blackley who was sacked by the board last week. He will start in the new role on July 14. Board director Lachlan Murdoch last week stepped in as acting CEO.

Warburton will be on a basic salary of $2.2m a year with a performance bonus of up to a further 50%.

There was no immediate word on why Packer has resigned as director, although he remains a major investor However, the move has made room for Warburton on the board.

At Seven, the move now sees network director of sales Kurt Burnette, a 20 year veteran at the network, as the most senior sales person.

Ten chairman, Brian Long said of Warburton’s appointment: “James is a high calibre media executive with an enviable track record in television and digital media sales. He has forged an exemplary reputation in the media sector in Australia and has strong relationships within the media and advertising community.”

Long credited Murdoch with recruiting Warburton, who is on a three year contract. Long said: “The Company continues to be grateful to Lachlan Murdoch for his commitment in the role of Acting CEO during this period, and for bringing James Warburton to Ten.”

Murdoch said: “I am delighted to welcome James to the Ten family. I know James well, and I also know that he will lead this business with great success.”

Ten’s group chief financial officer John Kelly, would be leaving the the company, with Paul Anderson promoted into the role.

Last year, Warburton said in an interview with Paul McIntyre: “I want to run a company. Of course I do. That’s my long term ambition.”

PHD CEO Barry O’Brien told Mumbrella that Warburton’s hiring was the right one for Ten. He said: “You’ve got to look at where he is right now. He would have wanted to run Sevem, but the bloke running that (David Leckie) is doing a good job and isn’t going anywhere.

“He’s got great passion, he’s a workaholic and he only knows success.”


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