Media group Ziff Davis, owner of consumer press outlets 1up.com and Electronic Gaming Monthly, have announced that consumer/small business group president Jason Young has succeeded Robert Callahan as company CEO, and have backed away from actively courting buyers for its game media division.
After first joining the company in 1990, Young became president of the consumer/small business division in 2004 after roles as VP of sales, as well as later senior VP and GM of its internet division. Young has also served as the company's national ad director for Windows Sources, publisher of Windows Pro, corporate sales director and ad director of ZDNet. Callahan, who has served as company CEO since 2001, will continue his role as chairman of Ziff Davis Media.
The move was made at the same time as the company sold its Ziff Davis Enterprise Group to Insight Venture Partners, for approximately $150 million cash, along with an earn-out payment of up to $10 million in cash based on 2007 full-year results of ZDE.
In an interview with Folio: Alert, Young referred to the company's previous attempts
to find buyers for its game media and small business group, as previously covered
on GameSetWatch, saying “while the sale process has been a very sharp focus over last 12 months, now that becomes less of a focus. The clearer focus is now on operating the business ourselves.”
At the end of its first quarter, Ziff Davis showed continued losses
in its game media group, with sales down 17 percent to $5.4 million, attributed to "a drop in print advertising and circulation revenue for the Group's ongoing publications associated with the console platform transition."
Said Callahan of the appointment, “Jason’s ready to take the helm. He’s a dynamic executive who has played the lead role in driving our digital growth, which will remain his number one priority... We wish all our talented Enterprise Group executives nothing but the best in their new venture with Insight Partners.”