Thursday, August 25, 2011

Jasons Appoints New CEO

Meet the face of Jasons Travel Media's new CEO Kevin Francis that will be taking over the reins from Matthew Mayne after he unexpectedly resigned in April this year.

Francis takes on a more mature look similar to former CEOs Stephen Joyce that left the position to pursue his high profile political career and iconic company founder John Sandford.

Francis spent his early years as an officer in the British Army and after arriving in New Zealand 16 years ago has been involved in a variety of industries, including telecommunications, internet, IT and, most recently, the Online / Digital Marketing industries.

Francis's corporate experience includes Executive Management roles for Asia Online, Ericsson Enterprise and First Rate and most recently COO and CEO roles at Australian listed digital agency Q Group. 

Francis will be taking on his new role at a challenging time as Jasons continues to take a dynamic journey from a travel print distribution company into an increasingly digital focused era.

Under Mayne,  Jasons introduced a radically new and innovative offer for its 1600 motel accommodation providers for the 2012 season. This year Jasons reps were on the ground wielding new iPads selling new combo deals of directory, online and mobile marketing. New products were launched that included: Freshening-up the online booking offer, iPhone/iPad app, Text availability and a series of six webinars exclusive to moteliers that list with Jasons. 

The way product was packaged and presented to advertisers was a radical departure from previous years. Parts of the offer were controversial for some advertisers and in hindsight some attributes could have been tweaked. In my opinion Jasons biggest downfall was their inconsistent, dyslexic communication that undersold the packages on offer and this disconnected them from their advertisers.

With this year's sales season all but over, Jasons have recently announced an updated forecast for the 2012 financial year with expected earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization predicted to be approximately 10% down on the 2011 result. 

Next year's advertising offer will be different again and it will be interesting how this will be packaged and communicated to the motel market.

The official Jasons Travel Media announcement of their new CEO appointment is below:
The Board of Jasons Travel Media Limited (JTM) is pleased to announce the appointment of Kevin Francis to the role of Chief Executive.

Commencing as CEO at Jasons on 3 October 2011, Kevin steps in to follow Michele La Riviere, the company’s CFO who has been acting CEO for the past four months.

Kevin has significant experience, both domestically and internationally, in executive management roles for blue chip brands within the telecommunications (Ericsson Enterprise), internet (Asia Online), IT and, most recently, the online and digital marketing industries (First Rate).

Jasons Travel Media Chairman Geoff Burns commented, “Kevin was chosen after an extensive executive search involving impressive applications from both internal and external candidates.
We believe Kevin’s technical knowledge; strong leadership ability and relationship management skills will complement our team and further enhance the strategic direction of our multi- channel travel media business covering print, digital and online publishing and tourism brochure distribution operations in New Zealand, Australia and the South Pacific.”

Kevin commented, “I look forward to enhancing the overall company strategy for Jasons, further drive the implementation of this throughout the organisation and deliver improved business performance for the benefit of travel consumers, our advertisers, industry partners and financial stakeholders.”

“I believe this will be achieved by concentrating on; identifying operational efficiencies, driving initiatives that support Jasons transition to a business-to-consumer focus, delivering on revenue opportunities from diverse channels including digital and communicating the value of Jasons as the travel resource of choice.”

Kevin departs Australian listed digital agency, Q Group (ASX:QXQ) where he was CEO of the New Zealand subsidiary.

Kevin’s appointment is part of the recent strategic review conducted by Jasons Travel Media prior to the Shareholder’s Annual Meeting, being held this Wednesday, 24 August in Auckland.

Geoff Burns, Chairman 027-458 2832

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