Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Reed Elsevier not Smitten with Smith

Ian Smith, the newly installed CEO of Reed Elsevier is leaving with immediate effect. Press Gazette reports that the board concluded he was the wrong man from the current economic circumstances. The unspoken implication is that having the one of the worlds great media businesses run by someone who knows how to build houses (he used to be CEO of Taylor Woodrow) may not be the smartest thing to do.

For the poor souls at RBI, where most of the US business is being sold, and some continental europe assets, a new period of uncertainty may begin. With the helm now in the hands of swedish exec from Elsevier, the tolerance for low margin ad based businesses is likely to be low. Elsevier culture has always been about paid content.

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