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Big Changes Afoot Under New Hibu CEO

By: 9 April 2014

 

David Eckert hasn’t let any grass grow under his feet since taking the helm last month at the global search and directory company Hibu. Eckert, who had been serving as Hibu’s “operational” chief restructuring officer, was named CEO in March, replacing the departed Mike Pocock.

Hibu operates in the United Kingdom, Unites States, Spain and South America. Last year, Hibu went through a major restructuring that placed its UK operations under “administration.”

Soon after taking the reins, Eckert shook up his management team, leading to the departure of some senior executives, including Mark Payne and Bob Gregerson, two of Pocock’s top executives. Others who came in under Pocock have been retained or even given expanded roles. One example is Chief Digital Officer Matt Anderson, who remains in his job but with greater authority and a mandate to growth the companies online presence business.

And today, news reports revealed that Hibu will shut down its hyper-local print magazine project, which had grown to more than 600 titles in 20 states. Eckert cited no clear path to profitability as the reason for the shut down. The magazine had targeted high income households.

In addition, Hibu is working to reduce its production costs, eliminating jobs in Cedar Rapids, King of Prussia and other locations, and shifting much of its print and digital production to India and the Philippines.

These moves are fairly predictable. Eckert’s charge is to turn Hibu around, which will mean reducing costs and narrowing its focus on products that show promise in driving growth, in particular digital growth. Elevating Anderson’s role makes sense, given websites has been a relative bright spot for Hibu, which has suffered though steep revenue declines in its core print and IYP business over the past several years.


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2 Comments

2 Comments »

  • Luis said:

    I do not think they will survive by selling websites, maybe a spin off is coming.
    Quality will be an issue by sourcing the IT and Fulfillment operations to Asia, that will be an interesting contrast: Moonfruit asian style.

  • BRC said:

    This company has been plagued with fraud and frankly ripping people off for years. My company signed on with them for small business advertising and a basic website package. They were quick to set up a 12 month contract with auto billing to a credit card and very slow to get anything done. After spending over 100 hours on the phone with their “designers” in the Philipines and having no site for over 3 months the final product was less than adequate for our business. In fact my 8 year old daughter could have created a better site in about 10 minutes.

    After being totally unsatisfied, I spoke with their Investigations department this morning, specifically Matthew Melcher who informed me that although they haven’t fulfilled their end of our contract that they will continue to bill my credit card for the next 9 months. Nice contract.

    HIBU is in financial trouble (Bankruptcy in January 2014) because they have been ripping off the end consumers and small business owners since 2006. Mike Pocock and David Eckert should both jump ship before it sinks. The Federal Trade Commission should investigate and fine HIBU for selling snake oil and scamming people. Small business owners and consumers beware that HIBU will take your money and not deliver anything except empty promises.

    HIBU is a scam!

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