XLMedia names Rakuten’s Simms as new chief executive

29 July 2019

Digital marketing services provider XLMedia has named Stuart Simms, currently of Rakuten Marketing, as its new chief executive.

Simms will begin on his new role on 2 October, replacing XLMedia’s co-founder and long-serving CEO Ory Weihs, who will remain on the provider’s board as a non-executive director.

Simms will join from affiliate marketing service provider Rakuten Marketing, a subsidiary of the Japanese ecommerce giant, where he has been serving as global CEO since July 2018. He is also currently president of the business and previously spent time as its chief revenue officer.

Prior to this, Simms was chief operating officer of consumer data and analytics company Fits Me, which was acquired by Rakuten in June 2015. After the sale, Simms served as CEO of Rakuten Fits Me, overseeing the integration of the business into the enlarged group.

Earlier in his career, Simms also spent time in senior executive positions with the likes of Microsoft, IBM and Rackspace.

“We are delighted to welcome Stuart to XLMedia and believe he is ideally placed to help deliver the next phase of our growth,” XLMedia non-executive chairman, Chris Bell, said.

“His extensive knowledge of the performance marketing arena and technology makes him an ideal candidate to lead our business and both myself and the board look forward to working with him.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to extend our sincere gratitude to Ory for his outstanding contribution to XLMedia, a business he established in 2008. We are also pleased Ory will be remaining with the business as a non-executive director allowing the board to continue to benefit from his expertise.”

Meanwhile, XLMedia has confirmed that Inbal Lavi, currently CEO of its Webpals Systems subsidiary, has resigned in order to pursue other business interests.

In addition, XLMedia has published a trading update for the six months through to June 30, 2019, during which it said that the business remained stable and performed in line with expectations.

XLMedia noted a strong performance from its personal finance publishing assets in North America and Canada, which continue to gain momentum, although, as, expected, new regulations in Sweden had an impact on revenue for many operators.

However, XLMedia said it considers the Sweden slow-down to be a short-term issue, with its publishing assets continuing to rank well in the region. It also continues to invest in creating new publishing assets elsewhere, including in North America.

XLMedia is due to publish its results for the period in September 2019.