Reuters are reporting that David Montgomery is being forced out as chief executive of Mecom after pressure from shareholders fed up with ongoing high debt levels and falling sales. Under Montgomery, Mecom made several acquisitions that it was later forced to sell, piling up debt in the process. Last May, investors participated in an emergency £140 million-pound rights issue to avert a debt crisis.
The announcement on the Mecom website reads:
David Montgomery, CEO, today announces his planned retirement from Mecom Group.
Mr Montgomery, the founder of the Group that has grown into one of Europe’s leading newspaper and content businesses, enjoys the complete confidence of the Board.
Nevertheless, following pressure from certain shareholders, he has decided to leave at the time of the Group’s pre-close trading statement next January.
In the meantime Mr Montgomery will continue to implement the Group’s existing strategy together with his team who all enjoy the absolute support and active encouragement of the Board.
Mr Montgomery said: ‘The business has weathered the recession well and is transforming into a broader content business with accelerating on-line revenues. This transformation process will continue for the rest of this year and beyond given the commitment and energy of all Mecom management and staff.’
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The Board will conduct a search process to find the person best qualified to succeed Mr Montgomery.