Postmedia Network Canada Corp. on Thursday announced that Andrew MacLeod has been named the company’s new chief executive officer, part of a succession plan that will see longtime chief executive Paul Godfrey remain with the company as executive chairman.
MacLeod joined Postmedia in 2014 as chief commercial officer. In 2016, he was named chief operating officer and one year later took over the role of president from Godfrey.
In an interview, MacLeod said he and Godfrey had been discussing the move for some time and that it is part of an “ongoing graceful transition.” In the past three years, the two have developed an “enormously close” relationship, MacLeod said.
Godfrey, who spent more than eight years at the helm of Postmedia, said the move was an “obvious” one to make and would “rejuvenate” the company.
“(Andrew is) talented. He deserves the title. He’s performed. He’s grown digital advertising double digits for the last eight quarters. There’s nobody in Canada and very few in the U.S. that have performed like that,” Godfrey said.
“I can bring him some years of experience and help him whenever he needs it,” Godfrey added, noting he has two years left on his contract and plans to be in the office “every day.”
MacLeod said the most significant change for him is that he now has sole responsibility for the company.
“Accountability rests on my shoulders as the CEO and I have to be cognizant of that,” MacLeod said. “There’s not a layer above me that will insulate me from any decisions that are made.”
MacLeod says he will continue to count on Godfrey in his advisory role as executive chairman.
“(Godfrey) has been in a leadership role in Canadian business and politics for decades,” MacLeod said. “I think only a fool wouldn’t want to leverage his experience and connections and his ability to reach out to people and open doors.”
The move was announced on the same day Postmedia released its first-quarter earnings.
The company posted its eighth consecutive quarter of double-digit growth in digital advertising revenue, which increased by 10.1 per cent in three months ending on Nov. 30, 2018.
The gains in digital, however, were not enough to offset losses in print advertising, as total revenue dropped to $171.3 million as compared to $189 million during the same three months in 2017.