Primedia Group, the owner of a broad portfolio of broadcasting and out-of-home assets, announced today that Omar Essack is stepping down as Primedia Group CEO, and will be leaving the group at the end of April.

A veteran of the industry, with over 30 years in media, Mr. Essack has decided that the time is right for him to move on after two decades in corporate leadership roles.  Going forward he will be focused on writing, training and consulting projects and on emerging opportunities at the confluence of media and technology.

Commenting on the announcement, Phumzile Langeni, Chairman, said: “Omar has played a critical leadership role at Primedia, steering us through a challenging time for the industry, both locally and internationally, while successfully driving a repositioning of the business, first as CEO of Primedia Broadcasting, and subsequently as Group CEO. On behalf of the board I would like to sincerely thank Omar for his service and wish him every success in his new endeavours.”

Commenting on the announcement, Mr. Essack said: “I have really enjoyed my time at Primedia. The board backed my vision of creating an accountable and responsive media company and I was able to put in place a data analytics practice whose strategy is on a par with our peer group in Europe and the US. The Group will yield the benefits of this approach over the next 18 months and I will be delighted to watch it come to fruition.”

“I want to thank the Chairman and the Board for the opportunity to contribute to the repositioning of Primedia to face the challenges of the 21st century media environment. It has been a privilege serving you and I wish you great success in the future.”

Now that the foundations for Primedia’s digital evolution have been established, particularly in the Group’s Broadcasting and Out of Home businesses, the group is in a strong position to continue its “future fit” journey under the stewardship of an experienced executive team.

Ms. Langeni added: “Going forward, as we settle into the new managerial structure, we will be reviewing our leadership requirements with a view to bolstering the team as required. I have agreed to undertake a more hands-on role as we make this leadership transition to ensure we continue to deliver on our strategic objectives.”