579 CHANGES AT CORBIS
September 22, 2003
For some time Corbis has had two separate management teams -- one concentrating on
strategic planning and corporate growth and the other concentrating on product
integration, systems development, sales and marketing. Now that the company has
completed its acquisition and major integration phases of development one of the
management teams was no longer needed.
As a result COO, Tony Rojas; VP of Worldwide Sales, Bruce Cheseborough; and VP Systems,
Bob St. Clair
will be leaving the company in an effort to reduce and flatten the executive
organization and "drive functional decision-making more deeply into the company and
maximize efficiencies across all business units," according to Steve Davis in an
internal memo to the staff.
"Tony Rojas will leave Corbis later this autumn. While his official role as COO will
end this month, Tony has agreed to remain engaged as an advisor to Corbis to complete
several key projects. Tony has been with Corbis since the beginning, and has been a
wonderful partner for many years. The magnitude of his contributions to the development
of this company and its people are beyond my ability to express. We would not be where
we are today without his clear-eyed leadership and limitless drive, and we wish him all
the best as he moves into a new chapter in his life," Davis said.
Bob St. Clair who was responsible for developing the search and meta-data systems will
also be leaving at the end of September since that task is essentially complete --
although there will always be constant tweaking of the search system.
During the period when the company was expanding and integrating 13 companies over
five years Bruce Chesebrough oversaw worldwide sales. With his leaving,
also at the end of September, the sales and marketing operation will be decentralized
and regional leaders will have more responsibility and flexibility
to react to critical market developments. Corbis continues to emphasize personalized
service for their customers and has approximately 300 employees worldwide involved in
sales and an additional 70 involved in picture research that supports the sales
Lynn Brantley who was VP of U.S. sales for the Image Bank before that company was
acquired by Getty will oversee all sales and service for the Americas. Brantley joined
Corbis in 2002 as Director of Worldwide Sales for Corbis Motion. Wil Merritt who has
been handling sales in Europe, Middle East, and Africa, will be taking on the
additional oversight of the Hong Kong & Kuala Lumpur offices. And Joe Barrett's current
role will be extended with management responsibility for the Japanese joint venture.
Corbis recently hired Sue McDonald as its new chief financial officer after a search
for a CFO with public-company experience. McDonald has more than twenty years of
financial experience, mostly in the publishing industry, and comes from the position of
CFO of the San Jose Mercury News since 1996. Steve Davis said, "She will bring
experienced business leadership and public-company financial discipline to Corbis."
She will serve as a key member of the senior management team, advising on a wide array
of business decisions ranging from domestic and international operations to business
Industry analysts believe McDonald's appointment is further evidence that Corbis is
positioning itself to do an IPO, but officials at Corbis still deny that any such
decision has been made.
Other key staff will also be assuming new responsibilities. Ingvar Petursson is taking
added responsibility of strategic planning. And Jennifer Hurshell becomes senior vice
president of content development & corporate communications, extending her current role
with the additional responsibility for overseeing the photography groups, motion,
content partnerships, and media ingestion.
Davis told the staff, "Besides giving his full support, Bill Gates has expressed
considerable enthusiasm for where we are headed. In life and in business 'next steps'
are never easy, but without them there can be no improvement, no growth. And we are a
company that has truly entered growth momentum, with a lot to celebrate."