Redbubble CEO Ejected from Role

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By Published On: February 18, 20200 Comments

Australian e-commerce retailer, Redbubble, has ousted its CEO, Barry Newstead, who's had his role terminated.

Newstead has been a part of the Redbubble team since 2013 but took the role of CEO in August 2018.

The Founder of Redbubble, Martin Hosking, will take the role of interim CEO until a permanent replacement has been found.

This comes just after Redbubble posted its first operating profit since its IPO in May 2016. The Australian online marketplace will share its HYF20 results on February 26th, with an expected revenue lift of 25 percent.

This role change comes as part of a renewed business strategy to bolster further growth, due to growing frustrations from its investor base.

“Redbubble has undertaken a review of strategy and its operation,” explained Richard Cawsey, Redbubble Chairman, in a statement to the ASX. “Following these extensive deliberations, the non-executive directors have decided that a change in leadership is necessary.”

“Barry has been an important part of the business since 2013, having previously served as Chief Operating Officer and then as CEO for the past 18 months. We wish him every success in his future endeavours.”

The HY20 results are set to be in line with expectations, with encouraging and positive cash flow. In FY19, Redbubble experienced an operating profit of $3.4 million, operating at a loss of last year’s profit of $3.8 million.

“We are a market leader in our industry and have a unique business that is difficult to replicate, with strong fundamentals and a demonstrated growth strategy,” Cawsey explained. “The company’s focus must be on core business and investing in the opportunities before the company. In the coming periods, that investment will focus on continuing the current growth initiatives, including accelerating the new product launch cycle and realising the opportunities provided by the quickly growing Fan Art partnerships.”

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  1. Al Bourassa February 21, 2020 at 12:29 AM - Reply

    Change at RB is needed to regain the confidence of the artists on whose products RedBubble survives. All artists are presently frustrated by the constant changes that continuously negate hundreds of hours of exhaustive work, and does NOT properly show off our work and products available. Artists are leaving in droves because of the ridiculoius changes that are being announced.
    I have been with RedBubble almost since Day 1 and have suffered through countless insane changes that have lost the original sense of community that was a cornerstone of the site. As an artist, I want the customer who comes to MY page to easily browse through MY work, not everybody else’s……. And we want them to see our original artwork first, not some mug or shower curtain. The customer should be able to easily choose which product they would like to see our art on.
    RedBubble needs an enema to rid themselves of the shitty ideas that are permeating their thinking.
    Over the years I have asked RB to send a person to sit with me for 2 days to get an earful of the awful manner in which the site treats its artists and shows off our art. They have ignored our pleas, time and time again.
    If I were an investor, I would be bailing out.
    Al Bourassa

  2. Linda Bianic February 22, 2020 at 3:59 AM - Reply

    I totally agree with Al, we all want to be in control of how out work is presented to our clients! The artwork itself is the most important and should be the first image a client views, not a jumbled mess that I find almost nauseating to look at. It was 2008 when I joined Redbubble and back then it was a welcoming and pleasant format where you could learn and support your fellow artists! My concerns and have never been addressed or acknowledged and that lack of respect leaves me cold and sad. There would be no Redbubble without all of us! I have considered leaving before, perhaps now is the time to expand my horizons and find new places to grow.
    Linda Bianic

  3. Evie Hanlon February 22, 2020 at 5:51 AM - Reply

    Al Bourassa has outlined every concern I have with the recent changes. It’s no longer possible to go onto an artists site and see a good representation of their work. Customers already know what they’re looking for when they go on. They don’t need Red Bubble to push shower curtains and coffee mugs and everyone else’s work down their throats. As Linda says, all you see now is a jumbled mess. I’m so disgusted with Red Bubble. I’m finally building a customer base and getting a few sales, now this. It’s so disheartening. I’m starting to get sales with Fine Art America and to be honest, their platform is so much more easy to navigate and presented, so unless RB lift their game, say goodbye to your lovely profits because you’ve ruined it for all of us.

  4. Mothernature February 22, 2020 at 10:29 AM - Reply

    Al had perfectly described how I feel right now. Red Bubble is no longer making me happy – quite the opposite. Zazzle and FAA, SmugMug and Instagram are replacing RB more and more each day.
    I HATE what they’ve done recently.

  5. Kathryn Jones February 23, 2020 at 10:28 AM - Reply

    I have been with RedBubble since 2010 and have been a Group Host and Moderator since 2014. Until recently I loved this (unpaid) work, but now I get next to no pleasure from it because of all the obstacles that the web designers in their dubious wisdom have put in my path. Communication between artists has become increasingly difficult with the removal of the Comment box from all but the default setting.
    When I see the mess that my Profile page, which used to be my pride and joy, has become, I could weep!
    Randomly selected images of products rather than my pictures are pushed at me.
    As Evie stated, customers know what they want, when they come onto the site. If they want to buy a duvet or a mug, then all they need to see is a selection of designs or pictures, which they can best appreciate in the default, image only view. If they like what they see, they can then click on the product icon to see how it looks on the product.
    I am particularly horrified by the postage stamp sized images for canvas prints and posters. I would not consider purchasing ANYTHING based on such a tiny image. If I want to buy it, I want to see a good sized image, not a picture of a sofa or a bed with a minuscule image on the wall above it. Customers are not interested in buying the bed or the sofa. It is the image that they want to see.
    Our profile pages used to look like art galleries. Now they look like flea markets! These latest changes are cheap and nasty, I shudder to think how much RB has paid these web designers to trash the site, but there is no use in getting rid of the CEO, if the same idiots are still employed.
    A clean sweep is needed!
    Not so long ago I closed my Fine Art America account, as I did not have the time for both sites. I am beginning to wish that I had not done so now.

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