The industry has been buzzing with speculation as to who would replace outgoing MediaWorks group chief executive Sussan Turner, following the announcement of her resignation at the beginning of July.
The rumour mill has however been brought to a halt by a MediaWorks release, which has confirmed that Mark Weldon would step into Turner's role on 11 August.
The former Olympic swimmer previously served as the chief executive of the New Zealand Stock Exchange, but has most recently managed Terra Sancta, the Central Otago winery he owns.
Here's the release:
MediaWorks is pleased to announce the appointment of Mark Weldon as Group Chief Executive.
Weldon is the former CEO of the New Zealand Stock Exchange, and led the NZX through its formative years.
MediaWorks Chairman Rod McGeoch says the Board is delighted to have attracted someone of Mark’s capability.
“Mark brings his tremendous talents as both leader and innovator and he has an enormous passion for New Zealand Inc. Obviously candidates of Mark’s calibre are rare on the ground and to be able to secure Mark for the role is a huge coup for MediaWorks.”
McGeoch says MediaWorks has emerged from receivership sooner and in better shape than initially anticipated.
“The future of the television and radio markets continues to look bright. Our aim is to grow market share and continue to build the most vibrant, entrepreneurial and spirited organisation that is a real favourite of all New Zealanders.”
“I have followed the business with interest and for me this was a quick decision,” says Weldon. “There is a talented and commercial board in place and I am completely aligned with them on the mission and opportunity. I am very pleased to be taking over such a healthy organisation with a great team in place and a dynamic future ahead of it.”
Weldon’s skills round out a strong existing executive team McGeoch says. “We have an executive team in place that has the media experience we need. The Group CEO appointment will complement existing skills, focussing on a strategy to offensively pursue growth.
“The future of MediaWorks is in our people and our content - if we produce and acquire great content, and combine this with stellar talent, we will continuously innovate and adapt to find ways to get content into the hands of consumers, and therefore create compelling solutions that build our advertisers’ businesses,” says McGeoch.
Weldon says he is looking forward to the challenge.
“MediaWorks is an important organisation in the landscape of New Zealand, touching millions of New Zealanders every day, whether via TV, radio or content on demand. I’m very fortunate to have the opportunity to lead such an organisation. I have an immense amount of respect for what Sussan Turner has achieved under her leadership and am very pleased to be taking over such a healthy organisation with a great team in place and a dynamic future ahead of it,” says Weldon.
"I have a deep interest in content, technology, and all things New Zealand, and I feel fully energized by the opportunity. MediaWorks owns an incredibly exciting set of businesses, with some great talent, and a strong position in a rapidly evolving environment where new competitors are continuing to emerge. For me the role offers the chance to be a key shaper of its future. I’m very excited to be a part of that, and work with the team to develop a strategy to lead the change and for MediaWorks to achieve its potential."
Currently, Weldon owns and runs Terra Sancta, a central Otago winery, in conjunction with his wife and business partner, Sarah Eliott. Eliott and the team of viticulturists and winemakers that they have established will continue to run the award winning venture. “We have an outstanding team and they’ve made me obsolete!” Weldon says.
Weldon starts at MediaWorks on August 11. Outgoing CEO Sussan Turner will finish with the company on August 15.