– USA, TX – Harte Hanks (NYSE: HHS), a leading data-driven multi-channel marketing solutions firm, today announced a transformation of its senior leadership team, signaling the final stage of its restructuring efforts and a renewed focus on driving growth and deepening customer engagements. Effective immediately:
- Andrew Benett was appointed as Executive Chairman and CEO. Andrew is a seasoned executive with over 20 years of expertise in brand development, digital, direct, and marketing technology, and he was the former global CEO of Havas Creative Group, a leading marketing communications network with 12,000 employees.
- Brian Linscott was appointed COO. Brian has an accomplished track record for improving financial and operational results, and his prior positions include CFO of Sun Times Media, LLC, a media company that included the Chicago Sun-Times, Managing Director of Huron Consulting Group, and a Partner at BR Advisors, where he led operation improvement, developed new partnerships and drove topline growth for media clients and other companies.
- Lauri Kearnes was promoted to CFO, replacing Mark Del Priore, who will be leaving the Company. Lauri has held a variety of finance positions at the Company of increasing responsibility over the past sixteen years, and both she and Mark played a critical role in the restructuring.
- Evan Behrens was named Lead Independent Director.
Andrew Harrison stepped down as President, but will remain with the Company, and report to Andrew Benett in an executive advisory role.
Al Tobia, the former Chairman of the Board, stated, “We are excited to have someone of Andrew’s caliber and accomplishments. He is ideally suited to lead Harte Hanks, given his exceptional 20-plus year track record delivering top- and bottom-line growth. Andrew’s skills in brand strategy, modern marketing, and new media will complement Brian’s operational and financial expertise. Combined with Lauri’s deep institutional knowledge and solid finance background, the new leadership team shifts the Company’s focus from cost-cutting and strategic realignment to growth and improved profitability.”
Andrew Benett, Harte Hanks’ new Executive Chairman and CEO, stated, “Harte Hanks has a deep-seated and well-established position in the data, digital and direct marketing industry. I have admired the Company for years. At its core, Harte Hanks’ businesses play a vital and proven role in building our clients’ brands. I am excited to join the team and help lead Harte Hanks into its next chapter.”
Mr. Tobia further stated, “The Board expresses sincere appreciation to Andrew Harrison for his leadership during our restructuring and for continuing to serve the Company in an executive advisory role. The Board also thanks Mark Del Priore for his work on the restructuring and wishes him well in his future endeavors.”
Mr. Tobia, continued, “As part of this realignment of the Board and management transition, Evan Behrens has been appointed as Lead Independent Director. Evan and I worked closely during the recruitment process. I am confident that under Andrew’s and Evan’s oversight and guidance, the new management team will be well positioned to lead Harte Hanks to the next phase of its development.”
Mr. Tobia concluded, “We have taken shareholder feedback into the boardroom. We reconstituted the full board with effective, independent directors, and established a robust governance framework and restructured the entire senior leadership team. The Board believes the Company is well-positioned to refocus on growth going forward. It is the right time for me to step down as Chairman.”
About Andrew Benett
Andrew Benett is a seasoned marketing executive and business leader. Most recently, Andrew served as the Global Chief Commercial Officer at Bloomberg Media Group where he was responsible for advertising sales, marketing services, events, consulting, integrated franchises, and innovation. Andrew sits on the Board of Directors of Viad Corp (NYSE:VVI) and is a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute.
Before joining Bloomberg, Andrew was the global CEO of Havas Creative Group, a leading marketing communications network with 12,000 employees across 316 offices and 75 countries. In that role, he oversaw all aspects of the business, including full P&L Responsibility, Corporate Strategy, Operations, Finance, People, Culture and Product. While there, he led the turnaround and business transformation of Havas Creative Group, driving significant year-over-year bottom and top-line growth.
Throughout his career, Andrew has been inducted into the AAF’s Advertising Hall of Achievement, honoring innovators under the age of 40, Boston Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” and Crain’s New York Business’s “40 Under 40”.
Andrew is a frequent contributor to the Financial Times, CNBC and CNN, and regularly speaks on the topics of corporate branding, CSR and marketing innovation.
He is also co-author of three business books, Consumed: Rethinking Business in the Era of Mindful Spending; Good for Business: The Rise of the Conscious Corporation; and The Talent Mandate: Why Smart Companies Put People First.
About Brian Linscott
Brian Linscott’s career includes nearly two decades of advising clients and C-level executives on strategy, operational improvements to drive topline growth, acquisitions, corporate development and capital structure across a variety of industries including media, manufacturing, and transportation. Most recently, he served as Partner at BR Advisors where he was the COO of a privately held company and he led the operational improvement of radio and printing companies, developed new partnerships, and facilitated asset transactions. He also served as Operating Partner at Traverse Pointe Partners, where he advised a private equity fund on financial and operational assessment of equity investments and developed a post-acquisition, operational strategies to create shareholder value. From 2013 to 2015, Brian served as Managing Director at Huron Business Advisory where he managed client relationships, oversaw consulting teams, and developed new business opportunities. From 2009 to 2012, Brian served as Chief Financial Officer / Senior Vice President at Sun Times Media, LLC where he created and executed a restructuring plan that led to a $60 million EBITDA improvement in two years and managed working capital to enhance cash flow.
About Lauri Kearnes
Lauri Kearnes previously was the Vice President of Finance and Corporate Controller at Harte Hanks. Lauri has served in a number of finance roles with increasing levels of responsibility at Harte Hanks over the past 16 years.
In her new role, Lauri Kearnes succeeds Mark Del Priore as Chief Financial Officer, who has decided to leave the Company to pursue other interests.
About Harte Hanks
Harte Hanks is a global marketing services firm specializing in multi-channel marketing solutions that connect our clients with their customers in powerful ways. Experts in defining, executing and optimizing the customer journey, Harte Hanks offers end-to-end marketing services including consulting, strategic assessment, data, analytics, digital, social, mobile, print, direct mail and contact center. From visionary thinking to tactical execution, Harte Hanks delivers smarter customer interactions for some of the world’s leading brands. Harte Hanks has approximately 3,200 employees located in North America, Asia-Pacific and Europe.
For more information : http://www.hartehanks.com
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