Congratulations, Deanna!

I am very pleased to announce that Deanna Brown, who has been leading FM as President and COO since Fall of 2009, will be stepping up to the role of CEO, effective immediately.

Those of you who’ve been reading my posts on the FM site for some time may recall the announcement of my original search for a partner back in May of 2009. When we announced that search, I wrote:

It’s time to take it to the next level. FM is no longer a scrappy startup, and while its leadership team is deep and experienced, we’ve come to the conclusion that to take the company to the place we all know it can go, we need an additional leader on board.

During the past year and a half, Deanna has become an essential and highly respected member of our FM family and, if I might be selfish for a moment, she’s been a crucial partner to me. She has expertly led our team into exciting new territory and continues to focus on our growth and evolution as a company. And her promotion marks a new high in FM’s nearly six years of growth. (For some deeper reading on my approach to being a CEO, see the first post I wrote announcing the business, six years ago this March).

A few milestones during Deanna’s tenure, from our press release announcing her promotion:

·       Six consecutive quarters of profitability for the company

·       A 62 percent growth in top-line revenue and a 35 percent growth in ad programs

·       Investments and acquisitions to help better serve partners, including TextDigger, BigTent, FoodBuzz and Clever Girls

·       Continued focus on hiring top level talent to supporting client teams and new product offerings

While Deanna is taking over the role of CEO, not too much will change – as you can see from the results above, she’s already been effectively running the company for nearly a year and a half. She will continue to do what she has always done and does very well: run this company and lead the FM team into an action-packed 2011 and beyond.

So what about me? Over the past year, I’ve come to depend on Deanna and our senior managers to manage the company, and I’ve been increasingly in the field, talking with partners and staying on top of this extraordinary industry. This will not change. As I wrote in that post back in 2009:

In order to take FM to the next level, it’s essential that I intensify my role working with our major clients, thinking hard about where the media business is going (a fascinating question), and evangelizing the market in which we operate.

I will continue and deepen this work. I’ll be very involved in the company in my new role as Executive Chairman of the Federated Media Board of Directors. This move will also allow me to lead Federated Media’s own event series, which has expanded significantly for 2011, and to focus on strategy.

I’ve been working closely with the Federated Media Board over the past year to prepare for this leadership transition that highlights both Deanna’s and my strengths as partners.

Please help me congratulate Deanna on her new position. I’m thrilled for her, for Federated, and for all our partners.