Steedman and Mitchell: Seven won't suffer under Voelte

By By David Blight | 27 June 2012
Harold Mitchell.

Two of the most prominent figures in the Australian media buying industry, John Steedman and Harold Mitchell, have foreshadowed continued success at Seven West Media, despite the departure of CEO David Leckie.

It was finally confirmed yesterday that David Leckie was stepping down as Seven West Media CEO, to be replaced by former managing director and CEO of oil and gas company Woodside, Don Voelte. Leckie's departure has been the topic of industry conjecture for some time.

Leckie is renowned as one of the strongest television executives in the Australian industry, and his departure has sparked conversation about the future of the company.

However, Aegis Media Pacific executive chairman Harold Mitchell and GroupM's Asia Pacific chairman and CEO John Steedman have both predicted a bright future for Seven without Leckie at the helm.

Steedman told AdNews: “I don't know too much about Voelte, and from David [Leckie's] point of view, he is the best TV guy around at the moment. But I think Seven has such a strong management team, with people like [Seven Network CEO] Tim Worner and [Seven's sales boss] Kurt Burnette.

“I can't see the business being eroded as a consequence of Leckie leaving.”

Meanwhile, Mitchell said: “The Seven Network has one of the most powerful groups of executives in the country. The team approach will always work.

“At a time when ownership is so important, Stokes is one of the strongest network owners in the country. Seven will continue its success.

“I've met Voelte. He's had a great career at the highest level. He is used to the big picture and change. He will move Seven to an even higher level. Stokes has ambition to grow Seven even more, and Voelte is the man to do it.

“I'm okay with him, he's alright.”

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