Snakk founder steps down as Sydney steps in

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Snakk Media founder Derek Handley will step down as chairman of the mobile advertising technology company at the end of this year amid a boardroom reshuffle. The Handley family still controls around 15% of the NZAX-listed company.

Replacing Handley is Australian technology industry veteran Peter James, who becomes chairman and executive director – a role that will now be based in Sydney.

James’ experience includes over 20 years as a board member of a range of Australian public companies. He currently chairs ASX-listed Macquarie Telecom Group Ltd in addition to a variety of emerging digital media and technology businesses in Australia and the US. Since 2003 and until last week, he was a director of leading ASX-listed telecommunications company iiNet Ltd, recently acquired by TPG Telecom for AUD$1.5b.

Current chairman Derek Handley, who has been with Snakk since co-founding the company in 2010, will step down as a director once the board agrees an effective transition has taken place, likely by the end of 2015.

Handley also founded The Hyperfactory mobile marketing company, which was sold to Meredith Corp USA in 2009. He set up Snakk a year later.

He said (in the corporate statement) that the timing is right to rejuvenate the board for the company’s next level of growth, and to transition out of the executive chair role as Snakk builds upon its entry into important new markets in Asia.

As one of Snakk’s largest shareholders, Handley remains optimistic regarding the company’s potential.

“Snakk is evolving steadily and the time is right to refresh the board, adding directors who have been involved with growth-stage companies, and who also have diverse technology-focused skillsets,” Handley said.

“As companies move from start-up to listing, to entering multiple new markets, it is important they add new talent across all areas of the company. Refreshing and strengthening the board is a key part of this process.”

In addition, current director Michelle Kong will retire from the board following the company’s annual meeting on Wednesday16 September. Kong joined the board prior to its stock exchange listing in March 2013.

James has a solid track record of joining early-stage listed companies, steering them toward significantly increased revenues and value. “I am looking forward to joining Snakk,” he said. “The company is well positioned to capitalise on the enormous and largely untapped opportunity of mobile advertising, with a growing number of consumers spending more time on these screens.”

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