New CEO appointed to oOh!media

Nova MD and experienced media organisation leader, Cathy O'Connor, announced as Brendan Cook's successor

Cathy O'Connor
Cathy O'Connor

OOh!media is set to have a new managing director and chief executive officer from early 2021 after the out-of-home provider announced a successor to well-known founder, Brendan Cook.

The ASX-listed company has recruited Nova Entertainment group CEO, Cathy O’Connor, as its new chief, effective from early 2021. O’Connor has spent the past 35 years in Australian media organisations, including 12 years at Nova, and five years as managing director of DMG Radio.

Her appointment comes after a global search to replace oOh!media founder and CEO, Brendan Cook, who initially announced his plans to step down in 2020 after more than 30 years in January. The company then confirmed Cook would remain in the top job for the rest of 2020 after the COVID-19 pandemic hit, overseeing a range of financial initiatives and a $167 million capital raising round to help the business buffer the crisis as lockdowns bit into its revenues.  

In a statement, oOh!media said Cook would consult into the business until the end of 2021 as part of efforts to help with the transition.

Ooh!media chair, Tony Faure, said the company had attracted a “high-quality field” of candidates and was now delighted to announce O’Connor as its new chief. He highlighted her demonstrated ability to drive efficiencies, team development and networking efforts across corporate and agency environments as key reasons for her appointment.

“Cathy, who is highly regarded by the industry, brings extensive experience as a leader of successful media organisations, and in her most recent role at nova, created significant value,” Faure commented.

“She brings a range of qualities, which we felt were suited to taking the business through its next stage of growth. In particular, her proven success in steering a media sales organisation, leading the technology strategy and driving organic growth initiatives, even in the most challenging of environments.”

For her part, O’Connor said she was looking forward to the fresh media sector and challenge.

“Despite the challenges of 2020, the out-of-home sector is an exciting place to be in, with strong growth prospects and increasing prominence in a digital future,” she said. “OOh! Is a great business with an extensive national reach backed by both leading data smarts and a fantastic team of professionals that are the best in their field.”

O'Connor's replacement at Nova has been confirmed as Peter Charlton, the current chief commercial officer who has been with the media company since 2012. He takes over the CEO reins on 2 November 2020. Nova has also confirmed Peter Colosimo as its new chief operating officer.

Nova entertainment executive chairman, Lachlan Murdoch, said the two were a reflection of the depth of talent at the group.

"Our ratings success this year has demonstrated the strength of Nova and the creativity of all our team. Peter and Pete have the operational and commercial experience to accelerate that success and our growth," he said.

Charlton said he was honoured to be appointed as CEO and have the opportunity to lead Nova. "Under Cathy, the company has gone from strength to strength and we have the right people and the right culture to continue to build on our success,” he said.

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