Centaur Media Plc announces that Andria Vidler has decided to step down as chief executive officer of the Company in order to explore new opportunities. Andria is succeeded by Swag Mukerji, chief financial officer since 2016. Andria will continue as a director to work with Swag during September to ensure a smooth transition before stepping down on 30th September 2019.
During her six years at Centaur, Andria spearheaded a transformation that has seen the business evolve from a traditional publishing group into an international provider of business information and specialist consultancy. Under Andria’s guidance, leading brands like Marketing Week, Econsultancy and The Lawyer benefitted from significant innovation and digital product development, and Centaur expanded its marketing capabilities with the acquisitions of MarketMakers and Oystercatchers. The marketing division has now been reorganised and named Xeim to offer clients this broader range of products and services. Following the conclusion of a strategic review in October 2018, Andria oversaw a disposal programme which has raised more than £20 million in cash, simplified the Group’s portfolio and increased focus on Centaur’s core brands.
Swag has extensive experience as CEO and CFO in both listed and private equity-backed companies, including Biocompatibles International plc, the listed healthcare company. His other roles included as CEO of Virgin Drinks and SafetyKleen UK; as group executive director of First Assist; and as COO and CFO of Priory Healthcare, reporting to the Chairman.
Centaur’s nomination committee has initiated the search for a new CFO. Until an appointment is made, Swag will retain overall responsibility for finance.
Colin Jones, chairman, commented:
“Andria has been a driving force in the transformation of Centaur and I, and the rest of the board, would like to thank her for the valuable contribution she has made to the Company’s development. Today’s Centaur is a stronger and more resilient business compared to the advertising-dependent publishing group of six years ago. I wish Andria all the best for the future.
“The board is pleased that Swag has agreed to succeed Andria as CEO. Swag’s important role in Centaur’s transformation and comprehensive understanding of the Company will be of great benefit in ensuring continuity and delivering value to shareholders.”
Andria Vidler said:
“I am incredibly proud of what has been achieved during my time as CEO of Centaur. The business has undergone a radical transformation and is unrecognisable from the B2B publisher that I joined nearly six years ago. Our strategy has delivered a total shareholder return of more than 30% over the past three years and, with the recent divestments now completed, I feel it is the right time for me to step down and hand the reins to Swag, who I am confident will maintain Centaur’s ongoing progress.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all Centaurions for their dedication, good humour and hard work and wish them, and the business, all the best for the future.”
Swag Mukerji said:
“It has been a pleasure to work with Andria over the past three years and I am delighted with the progress that we made in improving Centaur. I will continue to drive efforts to grow our core businesses while ensuring shareholders benefit from the simplification of the portfolio brought about by our recent divestments, including the opportunity to increase efficiencies to improve our margins further. I wish Andria every success with her future plans.”