Two former senior execs of marketing and MR consultancy System1, former CEO Stefan Barden and ex-CFO James Geddes, are calling for board changes including the retirement of Rupert Howell as Chairman and NED, and the moving of founder John Kearon into an NED role.
The pair say they will call a general meeting unless the changes are made, alongside the election of Barden as Executive Chairman and Director, and the retirement of Philip Machray as an NED (Non-Executive Director).
Formerly known as BrainJuicer, London-based System1 Group comprises an MR business and ad agency, with a focus on behavioural science. The firm's System1 Test Your Ad subscription service combines effectiveness and media spend data on every US and UK TV ad in more than 100 categories. In December, former COO James Gregory stepped into the role of CEO, after a career which spanned senior positions at HomeServe, Tesco and Capgemini Consulting.
In February, shares in the company rose 9% after it issued a trading update that showed 'record revenue growth' in its Data business. In the third quarter to 31st December 2022, Data revenue grew 18% year-on-year to £3.4m, representing 55% of the group as a whole.
Barden was previously an adviser to the Board, then became a director in 2020 - initially COO, then CEO - before reverting to his role as an adviser from January last year; while Geddes left in 2020 after seventeen years with the firm. Their proposals, delivered earlier this month, include the re-election of Kearon as a Director of the company, but moved into an NED position.
In a statement, the company said members of the Board have met with Barden and Geddes and communicated that the Board is 'firmly of the view' that the changes proposed are not in the best interests of the company or its shareholders. A further announcement will be made regarding a general meeting in due course.
Web site: www.system1group.com .
All articles 2006-23 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas unless otherwise stated.