Idearc Media announced today that Kathy Harless has been replaced as CEO of the directory publisher by board chairman John Mueller, a former CEO of Cincinnati Bell Yellow Pages and Valor Communications.
Harless’ departure follows a substantial decline in the company’s share price over the past year, and in particular last week, when the price dropped by nearly half in just two days of trading. Today, Idearc shares continue to fall, decreasing to just under $8.00 a share. The 52-week high for the stock is $38.00.
Also leaving the industry is Tomas Franzen, CEO of the Nordic publisher Eniro. The company announced earlier this week that Franzen will be leaving at the end of May to take over Com Hem (a private equity-owned Swedish triple-play operator). Franzen’s replacement has not yet been announced. Franzen is generally credited with helping to stabilize the print business in Sweden, which had declined steeply a few years ago, while also advancing the company’s strategy of becoming a true multi-platform search leader in the Nordic markets. He oversaw the reorganization of the Swedish business into fully separate print and online operations.
Last year, Eniro was the subject of rumors that he would depart to take the helm at TeliaSonera. That deal never materialized, but it contributed to a sense that Franzen was a highly sought after executive.