Seven Appoint Former APN, 10 Boss New CEO
As networks battle for access to content in the streaming era, Seven has appointed an experienced sales executive and former Ten chief as CEO, bringing an end to Tim Worner’s scandal-plagued time at the helm.
James Warburton is now the managing director and chief executive officer of Seven West Media after Mr Worner tendered his resignation “with mixed emotion”, adding that Seven “is a very different company now from the one” he joined 25 years ago.
Mr Warburton rejoins Seven, where he had previously been chief digital and sales officer, after leaving advertising company APN Outdoor, where he had been MD and CEO prior to the company’s acquisition by French outdoor advertising giant JCDecaux.
He has also served as MD and CEO of Network 10 and was CEO of Supercars for five years.
Mr Warburton is set to rake in a cool $1.35 million salary in his new position, and is also eligible to earn $4.05 million in company shares, providing targets are met.
Seven West Media chairman Kerry Stokes thanked Mr Worner “for his hard work”, adding that “rapidly evolving market market conditions” are presenting challenges and opportunities to the network, and “all parties agree now is the time for change”.
In the wake of his departure, Mr Worner thanked the Seven West Media team, board, and chairman Stokes for “the opportunity… their ongoing support and counsel”.
It’s not clear whether this reference to counsel was relating to general advice or legal counsel the company provided him.
Seven was embroiled in a long-running ordeal through the courts with a former employee Mr Worner admitted having a sexual affair with.
Former executive assistant Amber Harrison was ordered to pay Seven’s legal costs after a NSW Supreme Court judge ruled she couldn’t substantiate allegations against the network and her former lover.
Mr Worner helped put together the deal with Foxtel that saw the pair snatch away cricket broadcasting from long-term rights holder Nine.
Seven West Media will present full year earnings on August 20.