Redbubble founder retakes control

Redbubble founder retakes control

The founder of artwork marketplace Redbubble (ASX: RBL) has taken back the reins at his company after the CEO got the sack this morning.

Martin Hosking, who founded the company in 2006, has been appointed as interim CEO of the company following the termination of Barry Newstead until a new long-term leader can be found.

Newstead's termination comes despite the group expecting to report half yearly financial results in line with expectations.

When the company releases its 1H20 results on 26 February it is anticipated that operating revenues will be up 25 per cent year on year, with a positive cash flow in the business.

Redbubble chair Richard Cawsey says the termination of Newstead and the reappointment of founder Hosking is part of the company's renewed strategy.

"Rebubble has undertaken a review of strategy and its operations," says Cawsey.

"Following these extensive deliberations, the non-executive directors have decided that a change in leadership is necessary."

"We wish to thank Barry for his contribution. Barry has been an important part of the business since 2013, having previously served as COO, and then as CEO for the past 18 months. We wish him every success in his future endeavours."

Newstead's termination comes just after the company posted its first operating profit since its IPO in May 2016.

The FY19 operating profit of $3.4 million compared to an operating loss of $3.8 million in the previous year, and led to a 23 per cent surge in the share price to reach $1.23 in early trading at the time.

However, the company's final EBITDA was still in the red with a loss of $3.8 million as the loss from 'other income/expenses' more than doubled to $7.3 million.

Newstead also led the $57.7 million acquisition of US rival TeePublic in 2018, bringing the two similar platforms together under Redbubble's umbrella.

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