Former YouTube exec to step down as Rightster CEO

Rightster CEO and former YouTube exec Patrick Walker is due to step down from his current role, after less than a year in charge of the multichannel network.

Patrick WalkerWalker has told the board that he intends move to a non-executive role on the board as part of the transition, with Rightster naming founder and former CEO of Base79, Ashley MacKenzie, as its proposed new chief exec.

The news comes as Rightster said that three board members are stepping down as part of a strategic review that was launched earlier this month.

Non-executive chairman Mark Lieberman and non-executive directors Michael Broughton and David Mathewson will step down from the board.

As part of the shakeup Rightster has proposed that former Emap and HMV exec Sir Robin Miller becomes non-executive chairman; Base 79 co-founder Richard Mansell becomes chief operating officer; and former Dentsu Aegis Group exec Mark Cranmer becomes non-executive director.

“I am proud of what the team has achieved over the last nine months since joining the board. We have accomplished a successful restructuring and significant cost savings and I believe the business is in good shape to be taken forward by the proposed new management team,” said Walker.

Rightster’s founding CEO, Charlie Muirhead, stepped down and was succeeded by Walker at the end of January this year. Walker was previously chief commercial officer at Rightster, chief content officer at Base 79 and before that was senior director of YouTube EMEA for more than six years.

Rightster acquired rival network Base79 in a deal valued at up to £50 million (US$76.7 million) in July 2014. Following this MacKenzie took up an advisor role at Rightster before working as a consultant. MacKenzie said: “Much has been achieved by the management team since January and I’m hugely excited to be re-joining my colleagues at Rightster.”

Earlier this month, Rightster said it was undergoing a wide-ranging strategic review, with the board to consider “all strategic options available to the group including a strategic partnership, acquisition(s) to increase the scale of the group, corporate divestitures, a sale of the company or a new debt facility to continue to invest in the company.”

Rightster said in a statement today that the proposed new management team to continue to pursue the strategic review, and that as part of his responsibilities as a non-executive director, Walker will continue to oversee the strategic review.