Atlantic Media Finally Fills Justin Smith's Role After Two Years With Appointment of New COO From Within

Since the departure of Justin Smith who served as President of Atlantic Media, There has been no de facto day to day leader at the company, at least not by title. Chairman David Bradley has been doing the job since Mr. Smith left for Bloomberg Media Group. But those days are now over as Mr. Bradley is ready to go back to being overseer in chief and so he announced to his troops this morning that he has tapped Michael Finnegan to be his number two as Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Finnegan currently serves as CFO & SVP, Corporate Development. Here is Mr. Bradley's email:

My Atlantic Media Colleagues,

As you may know, since the departure of Justin Smith two years ago, I have been managing - some would add "unconvincingly" - the day-to-day operations of Atlantic Media.  With this note, I want to announce that I am asking one of my executive team, Michael Finnegan, to serve as second in command, the chief operating officer of Atlantic Media.  Everyone who reports to me now will continue to do so; but, I've asked the presidents of our divisions to report to Michael as well.  This is making de jure a practice already done de facto.

Michael is an exquisite talent.  He received both a BA and MBA from the University of Virginia. Following several years in management consulting, Michael joined Atlantic Media, first in digital analytics and business development, more recently running both strategy and finance for the firm.  He is an iconic manifestation of our two pillar values - force of ideas and spirit of generosity.  Of late, Michael has led the firm's aggressive turn to distributed content - our partnerships with Facebook and Apple included. And, I have loved working with him in every capacity.

Some months back, I visited my old company, the Advisory Board, to ask advice on recruiting.  The executive there commented:  "Oh, you should be talking about the strategist-as-CEO model."  When I responded that "that sounds like a term of art, strategist-as-CEO.  Is that your model now?"  She answered, "yes, we've come to the view that the most important quality to put at the top of an office is clarity of thought."

That, for me, is Michael's gift.  He is as clear a thinker as any I've worked with.  I've come to trust his thinking and judgment coping with the (fear-inspiring) complexity of modern media.  Against all odds, Atlantic Media grew 20% last year; against all odds, it will do the same this year as well.  This is a team accomplishment, but it's hard to overstate Michael Finnegan's centrality to that team.
I close with my respect and appreciation to you all.

Atlantic Media Finally Fills Justin Smith's Role After Two Years With Appointment of New COO From Within Reviewed by Editor on 9/21/2015 Rating: 5
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