Following the mega media merger move yesterday, which sees Nine and Fairfax combine, subject to ACCC approval, we take a look under the hood at the board directors of each media empire.
Making decisions on major company issues, which in this case sees Nine shareholders own 51.1% of the combined entity and Fairfax shareholders owning the remaining 48.9%, rarely gets bigger than this and has been eagerly anticipated by the market since the media reforms revealed last year.
Elected to represent shareholders, with a core purpose to ensure the company's prosperity by collectively directing the company's affairs, meeting the interest of shareholders and stakeholders is no mean feat. With the new entity looming, who stays and who leaves remains to be seen. CEO Greg Hywood was the first to face the chopping board, announcing his own redundancy to staff yesterday.
With a combined total board total of 14; being five women and nine men, it’s likely the new board will be considerably slimmed down, with Nine in the driving seat.
Fairfax’s board, of five men and two women, is led by Nick Falloon, who was appointed chairman of the board in September 2015. Falloon also became Domain’s executive chairman in January 2018.
- Adman, writer, producer and TV host Todd Sampson, who is also non-executive director to the board of Qantas Airways, is on the Fairfax board. Alongside Sampson sits:
- Fairfax CEO Greg Hywood, who joined the to board of directors in October 2010
- Mickie Rosen, who was appointed to the Board in 2017 and was previously senior VP of Yahoo's global media and commerce division.
- Linda Nicholls AO who is currently the chair of Japara Healthcare, a director of Medibank Private Limited and a director of Inghams Group Limited
- James Millar AM, the former CEO of Ernst & Young in the Oceania Region and was a director on their global board
- Patrick Allaway, who was as appointed to the board in 2016 and has had 30 years' experience in the global financial industry.
- Jack Cowin, who is the founder and executive chairman of Competitive Foods Australia
Nine’s board is slightly more gender balanced with three men and three women. Peter Costello became chairperson of the board in 2016 and will remain as chairperson of the new entity.
Board member Hugh Marks will naturally remain on the new entity board.
- Alongside Marks and Costello sits non-executive director David Gyngell, who was the company’s CEO from November 2010 until November 2015.
- Janette Kendall was appointed to the board in June 2017 as an independent, non-executive director and is a member. Kendall is a former senior executive who has held various roles in her career including senior VP of marketing at Galaxy Entertainment Group in Macau, China; executive GM of marketing at Crown Melbourne; GM Pacific Brands; MD of emitch Limited; and executive director of Clemenger BBDO.
- Samantha Lewis joined the board in March 2017 as an independent, non-executive director. Lewis has extensive financial experience, with 20 years at Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu including 14 years as a partner.
- Catherine West was appointed to the board in May 2016 as an independent, non-executive director and has more than 20 years’ business and legal affairs experience in the media industry, both in Australia and the UK.
With eight on the Fairfax board and six at Nine, a combined board of 14 will no doubt be slashed. While it’s too early to predict what the size and shape will be, despite Nine leading the board, it will need to ensure it has a strong representation from the publisher side.
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