Yahoo7 chief becomes new CEO of iSentia

Ed Harrison joins the ASX-listed media intelligence firm

Former Yahoo7 local chief and advertising and media veteran, Ed Harrison, has emerged as the new CEO of ASX-listed market intelligence firm, iSentia.

Harrison has spent the past four years as CEO of Yahoo7, the joint venture between Seven West Media and Verizon providing media products and content in the local market. Yahoo was acquired by Verizon alongside AOL last year and has since been unified under the Oath umbrella brand.

In March, Oath fully acquired Yahoo7 from Seven West Media.

Harrison boasts of 25 years’ experience in the media sphere in A/NZ as well as the UK, including several years with Fairfax Digital as group sales director of Fairfax Media overseeing 300 newspaper, magazine and digital brands. He first landed in Australia in 2001 to set up JC Decaux’s Victorian and South Australian operations and from 2003 to 2008, was general manager of the out-of-home supplier nationally.

He steps officially into the MD and CEO role at iSentia on 6 August and replaces John Croll, who resigned in February and vacated the position in May. Croll had been with the company for 20 years.

In a statement, iSentia chairman, Doug Snedden, said the board was particularly attracted to Harrison because of his strong track record in sales, digital media and product development as well as leadership across businesses in transformation.

“Ed has deep knowledge of traditional and digital media and has executed disciplined growth strategies in organisations across a range of competitive markets,” he stated. “He has broad expertise in leading product development and technology-based innovation to meet diverse customer needs in disrupted media environments, and understands the fundamental importance of client relationships.”

ISentia has been struggling over the past year with both growth and its operating model. Having acquired fast-growing content marketing firm, King Content, the group closed the division last August after experiencing declining revenues and profits. The group reported an $11.9 million after-loss loss as a result.  

It also instituted a brand refresh and restructure last year, in a bid to focus on integrated media intelligence, research insights and strategy content.

Last month, the company lost both its chief product officer and CMO, Richard Spencer.

Commenting on his appointing, Harrison recognised the challenges iSentia has been facing in the wider media landscape and said he was looking forward to being part of the company and building its Asia-Pacific success.

“Like many organisations, iSentia is facing a number of challenges associated with the rapidly changing media landscape. I look forward to working with the team to drive an innovation, digital and product-focused growth agenda,” he said.

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