Snakk founder Derek Handley to leave board, shares fall

Snakk Media [NZX: SNK] founder Derek Handley will step down as chairman of the mobile advertising technology company by the end of the year in a wider boardroom shuffle.

Mr Handley, whose interests own about 15% of Snakk, will leave the board of the firm he co-founded in 2010, and Michelle Kong will retire after the September 16 annual meeting, the company said in a statement.

Their exit is part of a boardroom rejuvenation, which will install Australian cloud hosting business Macquarie Telecom's chairman, Peter James, as executive chairman. He will be based in Sydney along with chief executive Mark Ryan. Broadfield Advisory principal Martin Riegel was appointed to Snakk's board in June.

"As companies move from startup to listing, to entering multiple new markets, it is important they add new talent across all areas of the company," Mr Handley said. "Refreshing and strengthening the board is a key part of this process."

Mr Handley is best-known for founding the Hyperfactory mobile marketing firm, which was sold to US firm Meredith Corp in 2009, before he went on to help set up Snakk a year later.

He will remain a shareholder in the company, telling BusinessDesk he was still "a believer in the massive scale of the potential for Snakk and mobile as a disruptive channel destined to dominate all forms of media and brand engagement over the coming decades."

Auckland-based Snakk joined the NZAX in a compliance listing in 2013 at 6.5c, and the shares fell 2.1% today to 4.7c cents on turnover worth just $1264.

The company reported a loss of $4.2 million in the 12 months to March 31, more than twice the loss of $1.8 million a year earlier. Annual sales rose 40% as the mobile advertiser entered new markets in Asia.

Snakk's 2015 annual report was tagged by auditor Staples Rodway, which cited a "material uncertainty" over the company's ability to meet revenue targets and reach a financing agreement, while keeping an unqualified opinion on the accounts. Snakk later issued a statement saying it had sufficient cash reserves to enable future growth.


BusinessDesk receives funding to help cover the commercialisation of innovation from Callaghan Innovation.

Login in or Register to view & post comments