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Active dumps CEO Hubball

Friday, 24 August 2018
By Wayne Robinson
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Gone: Deane Hubball, former Active Display Group CEO

Active Display Group has sacked its CEO Deane Hubball as part of a transformation move to deal with a struggling retail sector.

Company chairman David Gittus told the staff that owner WPP AUNZ and the Active Board were not confident that Hubball had the strategies and plans in place needed to transform the business, and not within the timeframe that it says is needed.

Hubball took the job just 18 months ago when David Gittus, one of the four Gittus brothers that founded and then ran the company for most of its existence, stepped up to the executive chairman role.

Several other staff have been made redundant in the restructure,  including sales and production personnel in NSW, Victoria and Queensland.

The Board has also shelved plans to consolidate its four Melbourne sites into one supersite, opting instead to vacate its Cheksea Heights site and work in three locations. Its Dandenong based Boxlink business will move into the Mulgrave site, a  move possible as the company will decommission its screen printing lines in Mulgrave, on account of its new Inca digital presses performing better than expected. Its Chelsea pallets operation will move into Dandenong, leaving Chelsea empty.

The point of sale company – now owned by advertising giant WPP AUNZ – is facing a world in which clients, including some of the biggest names in retail, are looking to cut back on their spend.

David Gittus told staff  he would be back in the CEO role, as an interim measure, while the company looked for a replacement for Hubball.

In an email to staff Gittus explained that the market was changing, and major customers such as Myer and Revlon were now looking to restrict their spending. Gittus went on to say that the Board had to instigate a transformation strategy for Active, essentially to deal with the new normal.

Gittus said that Active had not kept up with the pace of change, with its profitability suffering as a result.

Active Display Group is running what many consider to be the country’s most advanced wide format print operation, with robots feeding and receiving prints from a pair of new high speed Inca print systems.

 

 

 

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