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Former movie studio executive appointed as Archant chairman

PUBLISHED: 02:00 11 April 2014

New Archant chairman Simon Bax.

New Archant chairman Simon Bax.

Johnny Greig

A former movie studio executive has been announced as the new chairman of media company Archant.

Former Pixar and Twentieth Century Fox chief financial officer, Simon Bax, will replace Richard Jewson, who steps down on April 30 after 32 years on the board.

Mr Jewson said: “We are delighted that someone with Simon’s extensive experience of managing the impact of digital technologies in the transformation of the media and entertainment industry has decided to join us. I know that chief executive Adrian Jeakings and his team are excited at the opportunity to work with Simon.”

Mr Bax has spent much of his career in the United States where he held a number of positions including chief financial officer (CFO) of Chiat/Day, the global advertising agency; as executive vice-president and CFO of Studio Operations at Twentieth Century Fox and subsequently as CFO of Pixar Animation Studios.

In 2008, he co-founded and became chief executive of Encompass Digital Media Inc which grew to become an international leader in the provision of network origination services and fibre transmissions and digital media encoding services, growing to employ over 1,000 people with revenues of almost $300m.

Mr Bax, who starts his new role on May 1, said: “I am greatly looking forward to the opportunity to work with a company which has such a deep heritage and is also committed to fully addressing the challenges of a rapidly transforming media landscape.”

The new Archant chairman is non-executive director of Inmarsat Plc, the FTSE 250 leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services, and of San Francisco-based MobiTV, a provider of premium end-to-end mobile media solutions.

He also recently joined the British Bobsleigh and Skeleton Association Ltd as a non-executive director and has homes in London and North West Norfolk. Archant is one of the UK’s leading independently-owned regional media businesses, serving hundreds of communities through a variety of channels. Archant publishes four daily regional newspapers, including the EDP and Norwich Evening News, and around 50 weekly titles, 80 regional and lifestyle magazines and over 200 associated digital properties.

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