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New CEO for IT Media Digital Division

23 April 2001

New CEO for IT Media Digital Division

Flyingpig.co.nz delivers profitable cashflow as new CEO steps into role

New media company, IT Media Group has consolidated its existing and recently purchased digital assets into a new division called “ITM Digital”, appointing e-business entrepreneur, Stephen Herstell as Chief Executive Officer.

Mr Mark Battles, previous CEO, continues in his other roles as the Group Chief Executive Officer for IT Media, and a Director of Wilson Neill Corporation.

Mr Herstell will have responsibility for the strategic management and development of all IT Media’s digital properties, including: ·
New Zealand’s largest etailer, FlyingPig.co.nz offering over one million product lines
· CDStar.com a premier music site servicing both NZ and Australian customers
· The male targeted content business, fire-engine.co.nz supported by leading brands such as Lion Nathan and Sony
· Youth portal, toast.co.nz
· NZRugbyWorld.co.nz the interactive rugby magazine.

With a strong background in management consultancy and e-business, including founding and managing e-business site SparesFinder.com into a world leading e-commerce company, Mr Herstell will be using his experience to enhance the profitability and scope of all IT Media’s online businesses.

“There is clear synergy between IT Media’s publishing properties and its digital offerings”, said Stephen. “The marriage between the two customer relationship channels creates a comfortable and valuable proposition for our customers, and I am very excited about expanding and increasing the value of this model.”

One of the key focuses in the new role will be to establish www.FlyingPig.co.nz as the number one e-tailer in the Asia Pacific region. The New Zealand based e-commerce site has recently bucked international trends by achieving profitability well ahead of original target.

Mr Herstell commented: “A new business plan was formulated late last year (titled “To Break Even and Beyond..”), which aimed to achieve profitability by boosting revenue and slashing monthly losses. This strategy, plus the use of a new technical platform, has enabled flyingpig.co.nz to achieve bottom line profitability whilst continuing the growth of customer sales.”

He continued: “I believe that customer satisfaction is intrinsically valuable and will be working to ensure we continue to attract and satisfy our loyal client base, whose value is increasing at over 30% per year.”

Stephen believes strongly in the future of online businesses and offerings, and compares the internet boom to the railway boom. “Speculation overtook common sense and traditional business measures. The smoke is now starting to clear and those companies with a sound business model that can be trusted, such as flyingpig.co.nz, are the ones left standing.

“There will still be more internet casualties to come, however, as we are demonstrating, there is a viable and valuable internet etailing business model and we are looking to expand that model in Australasia and further afield.”

- Ends -

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