Richard Bicker Caarten has joined publishing and events company Interact Media Defined (IMD) as managing director (MD), effective as of Sunday, 1 October. This forms part of the company’s aim to take the business to the next level.
“It was important for us that the new managing director would have ‘skin in the game’ and acquire a stake in the business,” says Sean Macnamara, who has been the managing director of IMD for the past nine years.Macnamara has since taken up the role of operations director, with the added responsibility for finance and projects. “We felt that the new MD position needed to be more strategic, as we believe that our product offering and the industries we serve could benefit from this,” adds Macnamara.
Macnamara says, “Richard has extensive experience in managing an organisation and fulfilled the key requirements of IMD for having the ability to build relationships, grow our offering, and strategically position IMD to remain a leading publisher and exhibitions organiser.”
Bicker Caarten has a financial background, having qualified as a chartered accountant with EY. He started off his career as a telecommunications and electronics group listed on the JSE, doing mergers and acquisition work for the company.
Bicker Caarten also has a career in the telecommunications industry, venturing into management consulting six years ago. Here, he was involved in several different industries, aiming to help corporate players to improve the efficiencies of their operations.
“I’m looking forward to being involved in a more entrepreneurial business where I can be more hands-on and see the business grow,” adds Bicker Caarten. “The IMD opportunity has been a great one from the point of view that it’s a well-run existing business with a lot of room to grow and develop. I look forward to contributing ideas and being part of this process.”
“We weren’t looking for media skills necessarily, but rather broad-based business skills,” Macnamara says. “We have always placed very high regard for relationships and attribute a great deal of our company’s success to this. That is why it was important that the person coming in would share our values and could help grow the company, particularly from a relationship point of view.”
“What I saw in IMD was a well-run business that has a good culture, a great team, stability, and a proven track record; a company that is ready to go on a growth journey. From that perspective, I felt that I could make an impact,” adds Bicker Caarten.
Together, the ‘new’ team of directors are developing the blueprint for the future with the aim of taking the business to the next level. “I think with the combination of organic and acquisitive growth, we are going to see a real transformation in the IMD business over the next five to seven years,” says Bicker Caarten. “I look forward to getting to know the people, the industries, and the communities – whether it be our advertisers or our readers.”
“IMD is very excited and fortunate to have a new MD who meets all our key requirements,” concludes Macnamara. “This appointment will ultimately benefit our valued customers through an improved service offering and better value-add, ensuring that we take a sustainable IMD into the future.”