Former Woodside boss takes helm of Seven
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Nicholas Grove is a Morningstar journalist.
The appointment coincided with David Leckie's announcement that he will leave his role as chief executive of Seven West and take up a new role as executive director, media, for Kerry Stokes' Seven Group Holdings (SVW).
Seven Group Holdings has a 33.6 per cent stake in Seven West.
The market reacted negatively to the announcement, with shares in Seven West down over 10 per cent in early afternoon trade on Tuesday.
"It's been a great honour to lead Seven," Leckie said in a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).
"We've had fun, kicked some goals and together built a very good media business. But it's time for me to take a career step and I'm looking forward to playing a key role in Seven Group Holdings and further enhancing the company's media presence.
"I am also looking forward to working with Don and his great team of media executives."
Voelte said Seven West has "the best brands in the media" and a strong management team. The brands residing under Seven West include Channel Seven, 7Two, 7Mate, The West Australian, Pacific Magazines, Yahoo7, thewest.com.au, wjobs.com.au, bloo.com.au, WAFM radio. It also has a 33 per cent stake in Sky News.
Morningstar senior equities analyst Tim Montague-Jones said he was "surprised, shocked and startled" by Voelte's appointment.
Jones said while Leckie's departure was well-flagged and did not come as a surprise, he would have liked to have seen him replaced by someone with experience in new media.
"He (Voelte) has got no media experience that I know of ... it's a big negative on Seven West Media and I can appreciate people selling it down on the back of that," he said.
Also on Tuesday, Seven West reaffirmed prior guidance for underlying earnings before interest and tax of $460 million to $470 million, subject to any year-end review and audit adjustments.