Virgin Mobile CEO switches to True Local

David Scribner to join the Sensis owned online directories business

Virgin Mobile CEO and former marketing chief, David Scribner, is switching phones for classifieds and joining the True Local team as CEO.

True Local is a 10-year-old online directory and reviews site which was acquired by Sensis from News Limited in March 2013. Scriber will join as its chief from 20 March and report directly to Sensis CEO, John Allan, who was once in charge of the True Local business. Scribner also gains responsibility for the Skip app business, an order and pay application that now counts 800 café owners among its client base.

In a statement, Allan said it was time to focus on driving True Local’s growth and potential.

“True Local has achieved terrific growth since Senses acquired the business in March 2013 and the time is right to invest in the next stage of its development,” he said. “In combining David’s expertise in digital innovation with the experience of the existing true local team, we are excited about the future.”

Allan added the pure digital nature of both True Local and Skip made Scribner a logical choice for managing both businesses.

Scribner has been the CEO of Virgin Mobile for three years, and was formally the virtual mobile network operator’s CMO. He spent more than 20 years in marketing roles including at Telstra, Milo and AGL.

Scribner said he would call on his recent experiences in the mobile industry to spearhead growth across the two businesses.

“There’s no doubt the smartphone will continue to grow as the device of choice in how consumers search for and engage with businesses – there is great potential in how true Local and Skip harness this knowledge to help businesses gain more exposure, connect and transact with their community and generate advocacy for their business,” he commented.

Sensis itself has been embarking on a massive transformation and digital innovation program under Allan's leadership. Once the jewel in Telstra's crown, the listings, search and White Pages business now positions itself as one of Australia's largest digital marketing services providers, working with more than 300,000 organisations and with a strong emphasis on the SMB market.

Virgin Mobile is now on the hunt for a replacement CEO. A spokesperson told CMO Scribner had advised colleagues of his intention to leave this morning and will continue in the leadership role until March as the team works on a succession plan.

“We are grateful for David’s remarkable contribution to Virgin Mobile Australia and for nurturing a team who epitomise the Virgin way of doing things," said Virgin Group CEO, Josh Bayliss. "The Virgin Group team has enjoyed working with David and we wish him all the best for his next venture.

"We look forward to continuing our partnership with Optus to further grow the highly successful Virgin Mobile Australia brand. Together we will keep shaking up the market and delivering outstanding products and services for our customers."

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+:google.com/+CmoAu

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