Stuff unveils new-look senior commercial leadership team

Hard on the heels of delivering its new digital platform this month, Stuff Group has unveiled a new-look senior commercial team, featuring some of the country’s most experienced and specialised revenue leaders.

Led by Brand Connections Managing Director Matt Headland, Stuff’s senior commercial team has been reinvigorated with new appointments and a new structure to deliver on the opportunities of the Stuff portfolio, and drive new commercial partnerships in market.

Joining the Brand Connections team as Director of Agency Markets is Jaana Collins, a connected and strategically driven agency professional who was General Manager of Agency at MediaWorks for the past four years, following a decade leading agency radio sales at NZME.

“We are thrilled to have Jaana join our commercial leadership team. She has unrivalled relationships across the sector and is known as a leader who makes things happen for her customers,” says Headland. 

Collins’ appointment has opened the door for a new role on the senior leadership team, with Laressa Marinovich appointed to Director of Independent Agencies, the first media organisation in New Zealand to elevate this role onto the senior leadership team reporting directly to the executive.

“Creating this position with someone of Laressa’s experience highlights the importance independent agencies play in the advertising ecosystem,” says Headland.

Deeply embedded in regional markets after leading NZME’s South Island commercial teams for almost two decades, Lee Piper expands his role at Stuff as Director of Metro and Regional Markets, bringing Real Estate and Events into his portfolio for greater alignment across these important verticals. Piper has led the development of Stuff’s redesigned rural offering over the past year, including the launch of New Zealand’s largest farming publication NZFarmer, and is driving commercial opportunities for Stuff’s new Masthead Publishing business including the rapidly-growing digital sites The Press, The Post and Waikato Times.

Piper will work closely with the new Director of Auckland Direct Advertising, Deidre Bailey, another experienced commercial professional with 30 years in senior leadership roles at The Radio Network and NZME.

Stuff.co.nz delivers the largest digital audience in Auckland every day and outstrips the competition across critical Auckland audiences,” says Headland.

“Deidre’s appointment will allow us to deliver that audience directly to customers in new and innovative ways.”

Following the establishment of Brand Connections’ new Harakeke integration unit six months ago, Head of Strategy and Marketing Andrew Reinholds becomes Director of Harakeke, bringing his decades of agency experience to drive creative, strategic, storytelling solutions for customers.

Also on the Brand Connections leadership team is known and respected digital agency leader John Buckley who became Director of Digital Revenue in late 2023. Rounding out the team is Andy Taylor as Director of Trading and a new appointment, Fiona Hamilton, who becomes Director of Optimisation and Inventory, managing advertising operations teams and delivering new opportunities for customers.

“These are all specialist revenue roles requiring deep digital expertise and understanding of data-informed results,” says Headland. “We are enormously lucky to have leaders of this calibre on our team.”

Stuff Group CEO Laura Maxwell says the organisation has invested in experience, strong specialist skills and some of the most respected talent in the market for this refreshed commercial leadership team.

“Under Matt’s leadership we have a team who deeply understands both agency and direct customer audience needs and how to deliver business results through our audience,” she says. “With our unrivalled reach through New Zealand’s most loved news brands, our new digital subscriber websites and now world-leading technology underpinning the country’s most popular news site stuff.co.nz, we have everything needed to deliver outrageously good results for our customers – and for their customers too.”

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