Rhys Holleran : “I love this business. I’m not going anywhere”
Southern Cross Austereo CEO Rhys Holleran has taken the extraordinary and most unusual step of declaring that he has no intention of leaving his role at SCA, following speculation that new Chairman Peter Bush's appointment may signal change at the biggest radio group in the country.
Rhys spoke to Australian Financial Review and said: "I've been chief executive of this company in different forms for 18 years. I've worked with family boards, with Macquarie when it was a privatised business, I've worked with corporate boards – I've worked with all different variations; non-executive boards, executive boards. I love this business. I'm not going anywhere."
Last week the company announced their interim financial results for the 6 months to 31 December – Group revenue had declined by 7.3% to $307.6m, EBITDA has declined 18.3% to $85.3m, and Net Profit after Tax is down 24.4% to $34.7m.
That presentation also confirmed Peter Bush as their new Non-Executive Chairman for the company. Bush is currently Chair of Pacific Brands, the Mantra Group, and has served on the boards of Nine Entertainment, Insurance Group Australia, McDonalds and Lion Nathan.
Speaking to AFR Rhys described Peter as "a good bloke". "I think Peter certainly wants to see things happen; he'll bring a different approach to the chairman's role".
Rhys also spoke of Max Moore-Wilton’s contribution to SCA over the years as Chair, highlighting his background in the government and public service sectors and his ability surrounding policy. “He was terrific around some of the on-air problems we've had over the years, that was his great strength, he was very calm around that sort of stuff”, Rhys told the AFR.
On his new Chairman Peter Bush: “Peter is very much from commerce and industry, and he's had some terrific turnaround pieces that he's been a part of. He'll bring a business perspective to it as well."
With the first survey results for 2015 out next Tuesday, Rhys is taking a longer term view for the group telling the AFR "We think we can pick up some share by Christmas time; we've got some targets around that".
More than likely, that would coincide with the return of Hamish & Andy to drive on the Today hit Network and by then, the bedding in of the new breakfast team of Dan & Maz in their main revenue market of Sydney.
You can read more in The Australian Financial Review here.