The Primedia Group, the owner of popular mainstream media assets like Highveld Stereo, Talk Radio 702, Cape Talk, Kfm, Ster Kinekor Theatres, is bringing in Roger Jardine to take over as CEO as from the beginning of February. Jardine, who resigned from construction giant Aveng last year amid collusion controversy, will replace Kuben Pillay who moves into the position of executive chairperson of the group.
Primedia has used the opportunity of announcing a change in leadership to drum up a possible relisting of the company on the JSE.
Pillay said “This is an incredibly exciting announcement for us. Roger brings a wealth of experience with him, having run two listed entities including having been at the helm of a large and successful media company for almost a decade.”
We are really fortunate to have Roger joining at this time, given that Primedia may re-enter the publicly listed environment in the future. Not only does he bring a significant level of business acumen to the Group, but Roger is also a keen promoter of press freedom, good corporate citizenship and values – this is critical to a business such as Primedia where we place a real premium not just on our financial performance, but also on our broader role in society.”
The announcement said Pillay will be moving into the role of Executive Chairman of the Group for the next 12 months, after which he will assume the position of Non-Executive Chairman.
Pillay has been with Primedia for the past 15 years, in several Group executive roles, and has held the position of Group CEO since 2009. Commenting on his change in role, Pillay said “It is an important transition at two levels. It is necessary for the company that Primedia has a CEO who will take the business to the next phase and drive the company into the age of digital media and entertainment.
On a personal level, I have had a long and rewarding career at Primedia, but as I said in 2013, I wasn’t appointed for life and it is time for new blood. I will also be able to free up some more of my time for my family and to focus on CSI projects that I have been passionate about over several years now. I remain with the Group in a new capacity and will be available to assist Roger with the Group’s strategic positioning.
Jardine said “I am delighted to be joining Primedia. Kuben and the team have successfully managed the business through a tough economic cycle and the Group has delivered strong growth in operating profits, positioning it well for the future.”
The name Primedia is synonymous with strong corporate citizenship, and the diverse media brands and entertainment platforms in Primedia are leaders in the markets in which they operate,” said Jardine. I am also very pleased to be back in the media sector and I’ve invested a significant amount of my own capital into the business. I have always believed that, beyond profit and enterprise, business can play a constructive role in society. I think Primedia is that kind of company and I am looking forward to continuing to deliver value to our stakeholders.”
Jardine was most recently the CEO of Aveng. Prior to his time there he had been the CEO of Kagiso Media. He holds a BSc in Physics and a Master’s degree in Radiological Physics. Roger became the youngest Director General in South Africa’s history when he was appointed to the Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology in 1995. He currently serves as a non-executive director on the boards of FirstRand Limited and the Natal Sharks.