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Redbubble Co-Founder Martin Hosking returns as CEO

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By Published On: March 27, 20230 Comments

Redbubble has announced Co-Founder Martin Hosking will take over the CEO and Managing Director role as Michael Ilczynski departs the business.

Redbubble has today announced it will be appointing Martin Hosking as CEO and Managing Director of the company, effective immediately. CEO and Managing Director since January 2021, Michael Ilczynski has resigned from the role to pursue an opportunity in a non-competitive space, and to manage a personal matter.

Martin Hosking co-founded Redbubble in 2006 alongside Peter Styles and Paul Vanzella. He has experience in this leadership role, first becoming the CEO and Managing Director in July 2010. He resigned from executive duties and commenced as a Non-executive Director on in October 2018. Mr Hosking had another brief stint as interim CEO and Managing Director in early 2020, before resuming as a Non-executive Director upon Michael Ilczynski’s appointment as CEO in January 2021.

Anne Ward, the Group’s Chair said, “The Board has determined that Martin is best placed to take over as CEO. Martin has previously proven himself an effective leader of the Redbubble Group. As a co-founder, he has unparalleled knowledge of the Group and its operating environment and can immediately fulfill the requirements of the role. We are in the fortunate position that he is able to commit to this role for the long term.”

Departing CEO Mr Ilczynski joined the business in January 2021. Formerly Seek’s CEO of Asia Pacific & Americas, Mr Ilczynski joined Redbubble with a wealth of experience and led the company through the COVID pandemic.

Redbubble has had a volatile year with cost increases and dwindling demand hitting them hard, reporting an $18 million operating loss for 1HFY23 and hitting a two year ASX low in October last year at $0.46, dropping 88.5 percent over 12 months.

“The last two years have been both rewarding and challenging and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to lead the Redbubble Group during this time,” said Mr Ilczynski. “While I am disappointed that the Group has not returned to growth under my leadership, I am proud of the progress we have made towards achieving our strategic objectives. I believe the Group is positioned for success, with highly-capable executive teams across both marketplaces, and a clear focus. I remain excited about the Group’s future and look forward to seeing it achieve its tremendous potential.”

In February, Redbubble announced it would be implementing a number of cost-saving initiatives expected to reduce cost base by approximately $20 million to $25 million and return the company to to cash flow positive by the end of calendar year 2023.

With a strong roadmap for the future, Martin Hosking reassured shareholders that Redbubble has clear objectives to fulfil. “The executive teams at both marketplaces, Redbubble and TeePublic, are well established and have a clear strategy,” said Mr Hosking. “We remain focused on the Group’s aim of returning to cash-flow positive by the end of the calendar year. Delivering this objective will require tight cost control alongside targeted investment in those areas which have the potential to deliver a financial benefit in the very near term.”

He also thanks Mr Ilczynski for his contribution to the business. “I want to personally thank Michael for all he has contributed to the Redbubble Group. He took over during a challenging time and has laid the foundation for the future success of the Group.”

Commenting on the resignation of Mr Ilczynski, Group Chair Anne Ward said, “On behalf of the Board and the entire Redbubble Group, I would like to thank Michael for his significant contribution to Redbubble over the last two years. Michael joined the Group during the COVID-19 pandemic and has provided valuable leadership through a turbulent period. He has recruited an impressive team and the Group is well placed to deliver on its strategic plan.”

Redbubble’s announcement notes that Mr Ilczynski will be available to provide assistance to incoming CEO Mr Hosking until 30 June 2023 to ensure a smooth handover of executive responsibilities.

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About the Author: Rosalea Catterson

Rosalea is the Editor of Power Retail. With a keen interest in consumer behaviour and tech, she covers everything ecommerce and hosts the Power Retail Power Talks Podcast.

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