XLMedia Plc

Marcus Rich Non-Executive Chair

Key strengths and expertise:

  • Extensive digital publishing industry leadership experience
  • Considerable knowledge of capital markets and global media industry

Marcus is an experienced Chair and Chief Executive, with deep knowledge of the global media, publishing and marketing sectors gained from over 30 years’ senior leadership experience. Most recently, he was CEO at TI Media from March 2014 to May 2020 prior to the sale to Future plc. Previously, he was at Associated Newspapers for five years in the roles of Commercial Director and Managing Director Mail On Sunday. Preceding this, Marcus worked at EMAP for 16 years, during which time he held the role of Group Managing Director of EMAP Lifestyle Magazines and EMAP Advertising, and also ran the company’s Australian and US businesses. Marcus was also formerly a Group Account Director at McCann Erickson and ran Optimus Communication.

Committee membership:

  • Member of the Audit Committee
  • Member of the Remuneration Committee
  • Member of the Risk Committee

Other current appointments:

  • Non-Executive Chairman at Board Director, Digitalbox plc

Stuart Simms Chief Executive Officer

Key strengths and expertise:

  • Track record of value creation and transformation at international companies
  • Very extensive in-depth commercial and performance marketing experience

Stuart joined XLMedia in October 2019 as chief executive
officer from Rakuten Marketing, one of the world’s largest digital advertising businesses, where he was global CEO and led a global transformation programme – strengthening the company’s balance sheet, simplifying the business and returning the company to double digit growth. Stuart brings over 29 years of experience of technology companies, with the last 14 years in executive leadership positions at companies including Microsoft, Rackspace, Venda (Netsuite) and Rakuten.

Committee membership:

  • Member of the Risk Committee

Other current appointments:

  • Board Director, Digital Media Distribution Ltd

Caroline Ackroyd Chief Financial Officer

Key strengths and expertise:

  • Strong finance leadership background
  • Substantial knowledge of the gaming and leisure sectors

Caroline is an experienced CFO and Board Director, with a track record of successful value creation. Most recently, Caroline held the role of Chief Financial Officer and sat on the board at Jaywing plc, an AIM listed integrated marketing agency and consulting business. Caroline was responsible for the management of finance, HR, facilities and technology, and also assumed the responsibilities of Company Secretary. Prior to this, Caroline held the role of Chief Financial Officer from 2018 to 2020 at Push Doctor, a provider of online GP services; Director of Commercial Finance from 2014 to 2018 with Sky Betting and Gaming; Finance Director from 2012-2014 for Coral Interactive (a subsidiary of Gala Coral Group); and several finance leadership roles with BSkyB from 2004 to 2012.

Committee membership:

  • Member of the Audit Committee
  • Member of the Risk Committee

Other current appointments:

  • None

Ory Weihs Non-Executive Director

Key strengths and expertise:

  • Extensive knowledge of XLMedia having founded the business
  • Significant understanding of performance marketing

Ory co-founded XLMedia and served as CEO from 2008 to 2019, prior to which he worked across all areas of the business as it successfully scaled from the affiliate network he first established in 2003. He brings considerable entrepreneurial and digital business leadership experience. Ory is also the founder of Team Odeon, a performance marketing company focused on higher education. He is an active investor and advisor to companies operating in SAAS, Gaming and performance marketing.

Committee membership:

  • Chair of the Risk Committee
  • Member of the Audit Committee

Other current appointments:

  • Founder, Team Odeon
  • Non-Executive Director, Mews

Cédric Boireau Non-Executive Director

Key strengths and expertise:

  • Significant experience in both public and private markets
  • Considerable knowledge of the online gambling industry

Cédric has worked with SAS Premier Investissement for over 9 years, initially in the company’s listed real estate development subsidiary Bassac where he worked for 5 years. In 2017, he co-founded Lagune Holding, an investment advisor and worked closely with Premier Investissement to develop its asset management arm and help it invest in listed companies. Cédric will be the appointed representative of Premier Investissement, XLMedia’s largest shareholder.

Committee membership:

  • Member of the Audit Committee
  • Member of the Risk Committee

Other current appointments:

  • Member of the surveillance committee of SAS Bayard Holding

Julie Markey Independent Non-Executive Director

Key strengths and expertise:

  • Significant experience in people strategy across international organisations
  • Considerable knowledge of large-scale consumer businesses

Julie brings a wealth of experience across all facets of Human Resources strategy and development on an international scale, gained from over 30 years’ senior leadership experience. Most recently, Julie was Group People Director at Ocado plc, where she was responsible for implementing their global people strategy and served on the management committee. Previously, she has held senior leadership roles at Tesco plc and Diageo.

Committee membership:

  • Chair of the Remuneration Committee
  • Member of the Audit Committee
  • Member of the Risk Committee

Other current appointments:

None

Richard Rosenberg Independent Non-Executive Director

Key strengths and expertise:

  • Significant and relevant financial accounting experience
  • Considerable knowledge of the online gaming sector

Richard is a qualified chartered accountant and partner at SRLV, an independent accounting practice, which he co-founded in 1988. He has a strong finance background and specific knowledge of the online marketing sector. XLMedia is the second AIM listed company he has successfully taken to market, having previously advised Empire Online when it became the first digital marketing business for the gaming industry to be publicly traded in 2005. Richard has been a member of the Academy of Experts since 2011.

Committee membership:

  • Chair of the Audit Committee
  • Member of the Remuneration Committee
  • Member of the Risk Committee

Other current appointments:

  • Non-Executive Chair, Livermore Investments Group Ltd
  • Trustee, Teenage Cancer Trust

Jonas Martensson Independent Non- Executive Director

Key strengths and expertise:

  • Considerable capital markets and gaming sector experience
  • Extensive experience in technology and product development

Jonas is currently CEO of Mojang AB, the videogame development company behind the Minecraft game, which was acquired by Microsoft in 2014. Jonas founded betting operator Mobilbet.com, which was sold to ComeOn in 2016. Prior to this, Jonas held senior roles at Betsson, an online betting and gaming company, latterly in Betsson Technologies AB, as Head of Mobile responsible for strategy and execution of all mobile activities across the 28 group brands. He has also managed start-ups in entertainment, social networking and finance. Jonas was one of the founders of Happy Socks.

Committee membership:

  • Member of Remuneration Committee
  • Member of the Audit Committee
  • Member of the Risk Committee

Other current appointments:

  • None

Stuart Simms Chief Executive Officer

Key strengths and expertise:

  • Track record of value creation and transformation at international companies
  • Very extensive in-depth commercial and performance marketing experience

Stuart joined XLMedia in October 2019 as chief executive
officer from Rakuten Marketing, one of the world’s largest digital advertising businesses, where he was global CEO and led a global transformation programme – strengthening the company’s balance sheet, simplifying the business and returning the company to double digit growth. Stuart brings over 29 years of experience of technology companies, with the last 14 years in executive leadership positions at companies including Microsoft, Rackspace, Venda (Netsuite) and Rakuten.

Committee membership:

  • Member of the Risk Committee

Other current appointments:

  • Board Director, Digital Media Distribution Ltd

Caroline Ackroyd Chief Financial Officer

Key strengths and expertise:

  • Strong finance leadership background
  • Substantial knowledge of the gaming and leisure sectors

Caroline is an experienced CFO and Board Director, with a track record of successful value creation. Most recently, Caroline held the role of Chief Financial Officer and sat on the board at Jaywing plc, an AIM listed integrated marketing agency and consulting business. Caroline was responsible for the management of finance, HR, facilities and technology, and also assumed the responsibilities of Company Secretary. Prior to this, Caroline held the role of Chief Financial Officer from 2018 to 2020 at Push Doctor, a provider of online GP services; Director of Commercial Finance from 2014 to 2018 with Sky Betting and Gaming; Finance Director from 2012-2014 for Coral Interactive (a subsidiary of Gala Coral Group); and several finance leadership roles with BSkyB from 2004 to 2012.

Committee membership:

  • Member of the Audit Committee
  • Member of the Risk Committee

Other current appointments:

  • None

Sonja Haas Chief People Officer

Sonja brings approximately 20 years of global experience as an accomplished people leader, with a proven track record in shaping high-performing, global company cultures. Most recently, Sonja was Global Head of Human Resources at Travelzoo, a NASDAQ-listed online media business in the travel space, where she was responsible for designing and implementing their global people strategy, overseeing major restructuring and the implementation of global policies to align with broader group strategy. Before joining Travelzoo, Sonja worked in a number of human resources roles for DZ Bank AG, including as Head of Human Resources in Singapore, VP & Human Resources Manager in New York and Human Resources Generalist for Europe based in Germany. In her roles, she was responsible for staff in each location and oversaw all facets of HR policy, from compensation and benefits to training, payroll, budget and the selection of talent.

Nigel Leigh Chief Information Officer

Nigel has a strong track record of building consumer-first, digital products using data and analytics to grow revenues and develop audiences for major publishing companies. Nigel was previously Chief Digital Officer and sat on the executive management team at JPIMedia where he spearheaded a fundamental reshaping of the media organization’s digital assets, structures and commercial propositions – including rebuilding the entire technology stack as well as successfully delivering new revenue streams. Prior to his role at JPIMedia, Nigel worked for The Telegraph Media Group where he played a major role in its successful turnaround and digital transformation.  At XLMedia, he brings strong experience in creating value through change, technology and data-driven analytics.

Ken Dorward Chief Growth Officer

With a proven success record of managing companies through dynamic growth as CEO, COO and CFO, Ken joins XLMedia to oversee our global personal finance ventures and head up sports and gaming outside Europe. Based in the US, Ken is known for executing bold business strategies, increasing valuations and reorganizing teams across commercial, operational and administrative functions. Ken has exceptional knowledge of the digital media, advertising and personal finance sectors.

Michal Badhav Group General Counsel and Corporate Secretary

Michal brings years of global experience having been in senior executive legal positions during the past 20 years at public and private technology companies in Israel and the US. Before joining XLMedia Michal served as Deputy General Counsel at Amdocs in the US and Israel and as General Counsel at Risco Group, where she headed the corporate, commercial, compliance and M&A functions. Michal holds an LL.M from Tel-Aviv University, an LL.B from Bar-Ilan University and is licensed in the US and Israel.