by Jennifer O'Brien

Stephen Haddad exits Bauer Media, joins Southern Cross Austereo

Jul 27, 2016
Technology Industry

Stephen Haddad is leaving the CIO post at Bauer Media Australia and accepted the top job as head of technology at broadcast media organisation, Southern Cross Austereo.

Slated to begin the new role at Southern Cross in mid-October, Haddad said he is helping Bauer with the recruitment and transition period until that time. Bauer Media publishes over 60 magazine brands in Australia – including well known titles like Australian Women’s Weekly, Woman’s Day, Elle – with 40 audited titles selling over 65 million print copies each year.

Haddad, who has been with Bauer for four years, initially working as the head of transformation and then as CIO for the past two years, told CIO Australia he is sad to leave the Bauer team, but is eager to take on the new role at what he said is an “interesting time for Southern Cross.”

“It has been a great few years for me at Bauer. It is hard to leave. It is a place with great people. It is a business with strong brands, with highly skilled passionate people that really believe in the products that they produce.”

But he is eager to take on a new challenge and get involved with the radio and TV media business.

“Southern Cross boasts an impressive portfolio of digital and technology assets and I’m looking forward to joining the team at this dynamic time for media.”

He said Southern Cross has three main towers: ITC, digital technology and broadcasting.

“I will have all of ITC and all of digital. Broadcasting will remain with someone else,” he said, adding he will report into the COO, John Kelly.

He said he is coming into the company at a pivotal time, where he can help shape and steer the ‘transformational journey.’

Haddad said he had accomplished several things at Bauer Media.

“For me, some of the major achievements that we’ve done have been around the original restructure work in IT, with some of the outsourcing work we’ve done with CapGemini. We have done a lot around the establishment of the transformation office and the undertaking of some very major transformative initiatives.

“There have been a whole range of things around the establishment of service delivery frameworks in IT, and the relationship with CapGemini. There’s been a massive amounts of vendor and application rationalisation – a real strong drive to do cost-based variabilisation across the technology group.”

He is also proud of the work the team has done in digital platform enablement.

“Digital didn’t report to me [at Bauer], but we did a fair bit around enabling some of the infrastructure and support structures for digital.”

He said the team also took on a bigger focus on measurement and how IT engaged with the business, “how we measure and communicate with the business,” as well as a big focus around IT service delivery.

“It has been an intense two years, which was great.”

Meanwhile, Bauer Media is on the hunt for a CIO to lead its large IT division and “transform the Bauer application landscape,” according to the job advertisement.

“As chief information officer, you’ll enjoy full accountability for our business’ information technology and systems. You’ll be responsible for leading operational planning and implementation of our enterprise systems and for the leadership of a dedicated and experienced IT team,” the company said.

Reporting to the CFO, the CIO role is a member of the executive leadership team, participating in strategic and operational governance processes. The CIO will foster innovation and maintain an IT organisational structure that supports the needs and development of the business, and enhances client service offering for competitive advantage, the job ad said.

Haddad said the incoming CIO has a good foundation already in place, particularly all things around transformation, including datacentre relocation, unified communications, financial systems application rationalisation, and admin systems rationalisation.

“We have left this role in a very good position. There are pretty clear strategic plans for the department going forward. There are four or five major strategic things that are almost ready to go.

“They are just looking for someone to drive execution. The new person will obviously form their own view on those . . . but we have matured them to a point where the new person can pick them up, have good detail, look at them and then run with them.”