Johannesburg - Media24 announced the creation of a Digital Advisory Forum (DAF) of international experts to further strengthen its digital media and ecommerce operations.
The four-member DAF brings considerable international ecommerce, classified and digital media expertise from Europe, the United States and China to the media company.
The members have all held senior positions at companies ranging from Scandinavian media and classifieds powerhouse Schibsted, The New York Times (NYT), Naspers and eBay.
“Media24 is repositioning itself to reap the benefits of the new digital world,” said Media24 chair Professor Rachel Jafta.
“To help shape the strategy for longevity, the board and management have recognised the need to learn from international experts, hence the creation of the Digital Advisory Forum.”
DAF chair Sverre Munck, who recently retired from Norwegian media group Schibsted, where he was executive vice-president, said: "Media24’s digital accomplishments in media, ecommerce and job classifieds have been considerable.
"As Media24 continues its transformation to becoming Africa’s leading digital media publisher, we are thrilled to provide our extensive experience from major international media and e-commerce brands to the DAF."
At Schibsted Media Group Munck was a driving force in its transformation from a Norwegian newspaper company to a global media and internet giant.
He spearheaded the company’s successful migration to online classifieds, which started with European websites such as compraventa.com and leboncoin.fr.
The other members are Yasmin Namini, Pat Kolek and Evelyn Chan.
Namini was instrumental in the conceptualisation and implementation of the NYT’s paywall strategy. She recently retired as senior vice-president and chief consumer officer of the NYT, with overall responsibility for print and digital subscription revenue as well as the data and customer insights teams of this award-winning news operation.
Kolek is chief operating officer of Naspers and has more than 20 years’ experience in executing business growth and development strategies for hyper growth organisations. Prior to joining Naspers, he spent 10 years at eBay, most recently as vice-president and CFO of eBay International and previously as the COO of eBay Classifieds.
Chan, an expert on the tech and internet industries in China, has more than 10 years’ experience in investment banking and hedge funds and is currently Naspers director of exploration based in Hong Kong. She provides insights into the China tech and internet industries throughout the Naspers group, and will join the team later in 2017.
Media24 CEO Esmaré Weideman said while its strong and trusted print media portfolio remains core to operations, the company is fully focused on its digital media assets and diversified operations such as efashion, ecommerce and digital services.
“We have our eyes on the future and we have high ambition to be one of what I believe will be only a handful of print media companies worldwide who will flourish in the digital space, both in terms of audience numbers and financial success.
"We have built South Africa’s largest digital media business by far. The DAF, with its impressive collective digital and ecommerce experience, will accelerate our execution on that ambition.”
*Fin24 is part of Media24 which is owned by Naspers.
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