Sussan Turner resigns from MediaWorks group chief executive role

Sussan Turner has brought her 30-year career at MediaWorks to a close by announcing her resignation from the group chief executive role.

According to the MediaWorks release, which came late this afternoon, Turner will remain with company until August and she has not yet announced plans to take up a role at a different organisation.

MediaWorks chair Rod McGeoch says that the organisation is currently looking for a replacement.

Rachel Lorimer, MediaWorks’ group head of corporate comms, says that neither McGeoch nor Turner are currently doing any interviews on account of the fact that they “feel the press release is pretty comprehensive”.

StopPress asked Lorimer for the reasons underpinning the resignation, but she replied that MediaWorks doesn’t have anything else to add this stage.    

“Sussan will leave MediaWorks in August with a strong, experienced leadership team, a supportive board and excellent trading results (all divisions are trading ahead of budget for 2014, and our trading performance this year is back at the level we enjoyed in 2008, the best year in the group’s history), and the Board is actively recruiting for a new group chief executive,” says Lorimer.

Here’s the MediaWorks release on the resignation:

MediaWorks group chief executive officer Sussan Turner has resigned after 30 years with the company. 

Ms Turner has headed New Zealand’s largest media organisation for four-and-a-half years, and guided the company through last year’s receivership and debt restructuring.

Announcing Ms Turner’s resignation today, MediaWorks chair Rod McGeoch praised her performance.

“Sussan has successfully navigated the company through one of its most challenging times,” he says. “We’ve come out the other side with a restored balance sheet and a stellar trading performance across the Group this year.”

Mr McGeoch says the company is now in far better shape.

“Sussan has been an integral part of the business for many years.  She has built up an excellent team and will be sorely missed by her staff.”

Sussan Turner began her radio career as a cadet journalist in Dunedin in 1984 and rose to become managing director of Radio Otago, a publicly listed company, before she was 30. Through ownership changes, amalgamations and acquisitions, she has effectively worked continuously for the same company for her whole career.

“I have had a wonderful career in the media business,” Turner said today. “It has been an honour and a privilege to lead MediaWorks. This company is blessed with wonderful staff, who are creative, passionate and determined. I wish them, the shareholders, and the Board all the very best.”

Ms Turner said she was looking forward to her first real break from work, and will consider future career opportunities after that.

She heads overseas on a planned family holiday this week, and will leave MediaWorks in August.

Mr McGeoch said the Board is actively seeking a replacement.

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