British media engagement company Shazam, best known for its eponymous application that uses the smartphone's in-built microphone to identify songs and television programmes, has announced the appointment of former senior Yahoo executive Rich Riley as its new CEO.
Shazam said in a statement on Monday, April 29 that Riley would take the helm from Andrew Fisher, who had run the company for eight years. Fisher, in turn, would assume the role of Executive Chairman to focus on “corporate development and future strategy” which would include plans for initial public offering.
New CEO on board
Riley has an extensive experience in the tech industry, including a 13-year spell in Yahoo Inc. He has served as head of the largest US web portal’s American division and, most recently, head of Europe, Middle East and Africa.
“I am extraordinarily excited to be joining the Shazam team. Andrew Fisher has assembled a world-class organization that has made Shazam a global consumer brand that provides an exceptional consumer experience and has set the stage for the company’s next phase of growth,” Riley said in the company statement.
His predecessor Fisher said that he “couldn’t be more pleased” with the new appointment, highlighting Riley’s experience as an Internet executive and his entrepreneurial approach and skills.
Riley would be based in New York, but this did not mean Shazam would be relocated to the US. “In no shape or form are we moving this company from its British roots,” Fisher has said, as quoted by The Times.
“Whilst Rich will run our business I will now spend more time focusing on our corporate development and future strategy including our ambitions to deliver a successful IPO for our shareholders,” Fisher said in the same statement, marking the first time the company has committed to a flotation. Information carried by the Financial Times has suggested that the listing could take place as early as next year.
“We’re looking at a billion dollars and beyond,” Fisher has said, as quoted by the FT.
According to Riley, Shazam was in a strong position to float, although he has declined to say when or where the company would go public. He highlighted that sales improved dramatically last year, boosted by the company’s television business.
Shazam generates a large portion of its revenue from deals with TV advertisers. According to the company, its Shazam for TV Advertising service is already generating double-digit millions in revenues, with the service integrated in more than 250 TV ad campaigns, including global brands such as Toyota, Pepsi, Sony Entertainment and Barclays. Shazam for TV Advertising launched in North America last year and since then has expanded to other big markets such as the UK, Western Europe and Asia Pacific.