The parent company of Australian broadcaster Seven Network will look to expand its presence in the domestic media sector after appointing an oil industry boss as its MD and CEO.
Seven West Media has named Don Voelte to the role, replacing David Leckie after nine years.
Leckie, however, will retain a position at the company and will become executive director for media at Seven Group Holdings, the largest shareholder in Seven West. He will also act as a consultant to Voelte and Tim Worner, CEO of Seven.
Voelte joins Seven West from his role as MD and CEO of Woodside Petroleum but is already a director of the media group, which owns television, online, magazine and newspaper businesses.
Speaking about his new role, he said: “Our objectives are clear: leadership in a sector undergoing radical change, develop our management teams, improve our financial performance without impacting the product for our readers, viewers and advertisers, and create opportunities to expand our presence in media.”
Meanwhile, Seven Group has sought advice from the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission regarding a proposed bid to take control of pay-TV group Consolidated Media Holdings (CMH).
Seven Group, headed by chairman Kerry Stokes, already owns a 24% stake in CMH, which in turn owns 25% of Foxtel and 50% of Fox Sports.
Seven Group’s plan to buy up the shares it doesn’t already own comes after News Corp-owned News Ltd lodged a A$2bn (US$2bn) takeover bid for CMH, which would see its own stake in Foxtel rise to 50% while controlling all of Fox Sports.
Casino owner James Packer, who owns about half of CMH through his Consolidated Press Holdings business, has signaled his intention to sell his stake, prompting a battle for the company.