Online job adviser Seek Limited (ASX: SEK) announced the appointment of former CEO of Commonwealth Bank, Ian Narev, to the dual role of Group Chief Operating Officer and the Asia Pacific & Americas CEO. The appointment will see Ian Narev as SEEK Group COO as well as AP&A CEO from 29 April 2019.
Ian Narev has held the executive level roles across several industries in Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Asia. One of the most prominent terms of Mr Narev career marks his role as Chief Executive Officer at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia besides taking several leadership positions at the Bank for over 10 years.
Reflecting on Ian joining, SEEK Group CEO and Co-founder, Andrew Bassat, stated that Ian’s appointment brings forth his proven track record of leadership being a successful CEO of CBA during its ongoing technology transformation. Mr Ian possesses a profound strategic thinking ability and a distinctive understanding of the disruptive impact of technology.
In the dual executive level role at Seek, Ian will reportedly have the senior responsibility for the AP&A business alongside working closing in collaboration with Andrew Bassat on operating priorities and strategy development for the SEEK Group overall.
Ian’s appointment follows the recent announcement of outgoing AP&A CEO Michael Ilczynski who has decided to step down to take an extended leave of absence from mid-July 2019. It was released in the announcement dated 18 February 2019 that Michael has taken an extended career break after contributing almost 13 years to SEEK.
However, before Ian takes the helm of AP&A, expected by 29 April 2019, Michael Ilczynski will continue to lead AP&A in the role of CEO.
Ian stated that SEEK is already well-renowned for its innovative culture in online employment services, jobs advertisement and banners. Ian further expressed his excitement to the role suggesting his close involvement with SEEK CEO Andrew Bassat for the company’s future growth opportunities.
In the Half-Year results, SEEK reaffirmed its Fiscal 2019 guidance with revenue growth expected to range within 16% to 20% and EBITDA growth in the range of 5% to 8%.
The management stated that given the robust performance in SEEK’s early-stage ventures portfolio, the company is planning to reinvest more to bolster its growth strategies. The company intends to continue allocating capital into high returning areas across AP&A and SEEK investment over the medium to long-term.
The company forecasted its investments in early-stage ventures to lie between approximately A$40 million and A$45 million in Fiscal 2019. But these increased level of investment in Early Stage Ventures is expected to take down the Group’s FY19 Reported Net Profit After Tax (NPAT) slightly lower than the FY18 Reported NPAT.
SEK stock price surged up by 2.319% to last trade at $17.650 on 2 April 2019. The stock closed at a price to earnings multiple of 119.790 x with a market capitalisation of $6.06 billion.
Over the past 12 months, the stock has declined by 5.84% despite the positive price change of 4.93% recorded in the past three months.
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