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7digital CEO John Aalbers Steps Down After Three-And-A-Half Months

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LONDON (CelebrityAccess) – 7digital has today (July 18) announced that Director and CEO, John Aalbers, will step down, effective immediately, after only three-and-a-half months with the company.

Chief Financial Officer Julia Hubbard will also step down from her role, effective immediately, however, will remain on as a Director of the company until a UK-based Finance Director is hired.

In a statement published today, the pair’s decision to leave the firm was described as a cost cutting measure.

Chief Operating Officer Paul Langworthy will become the new Chief Executive Officer in addition to being made a Director of the Company, while Michael Juskiewicz, the current CFO of eMusic, will be taking on the Chief Financial Officer duties.

Both Aalbers and Hubbard have agreed to assist the company for a period of three months to “ensure a smooth transition to the new leadership”.

In explaining the move, John Aalbers said: “When I joined 7digital in April this year the team and I were immediately challenged with the financial difficulties faced by the Company. We urgently set about looking for ways to refinance the business through a combination of asset sales and fundraising. Three and a half months on, we have largely completed the rescue by securing a new, strategic majority investor, which has stated that it is prepared to invest further funds. The final phase of the fundraising is in progress and we expect an additional £4.5M to be raised in the coming weeks.

“These funds will provide the Company with the necessary resources to implement the revised strategy and put the Company on a solid path towards both growth and profitability. Nevertheless, the Company needs to further consolidate and control our operating costs to support the new model.

“To this end, Julia Hubbard and I have reached the conclusion, and the Board agrees with our recommendation, that it would be in the Company’s interest for me and Julia to step down.  Alongside other cost-cutting initiatives already in motion, this will save the company close to £1M per annum, reducing cash burn in the most effective way.”

Chairman, Tamir Koch, added: “I’d like to thank John for his leadership and Julia’s strong support in meeting the financial challenges faced by 7digital and for successfully steering the Company through these rough waters to safety. I also thank John and Julia for continuing to advise and support the company during the upcoming months to ensure a smooth transition to Paul and Michael.”

Incoming CEO, Paul Langworthy, said: “It’s certainly been a challenging period for 7digital but we are now emerging from that with a clear sense of purpose and excitement. We have a well-defined strategy and we are very determined to execute it. I’m looking forward to taking over the reins from John with whom I have enjoyed working immensely. My confidence in our success is founded on both our new Board, whose ambition and vision will drive the Company forward with real energy, and on our talented team, who have shown enormous resilience during these difficult times. We are ready to take the Company forward as we enter an exciting new chapter.”

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