New Seven Group Holdings chief executive Ryan Stokes says he is confident he can navigate the tough media and mining environment he is walking into. The 38-year-old son of self-made business magnate Kerry Stokes has ascended to the top of the company earlier than expected.
The diversified Seven Group he will run includes WesTrac mining services, Coates Hire, a large stake in Seven West Media, a new oil and gas division and other interests.
"SGH is in very good shape in what are challenging times, and our focus will remain on effectively deploying our available capital to enhance shareholder returns," he said.
Seven posted a 74 per cent fall in first-half net profit to A$68.5 million in February, as it lost mining clients and took impairments on the media business. Yesterday it confirmed its guidance for 2014/15 for a 10-15 per cent fall in underlying earnings.
Of his working relationship with his father, who has a 70 per cent stake, he said, "Like any organisation, the board and chairman are the guiding principles of our process and our structure and our governance is no different." That view was backed by the man he replaces, Don Voelte, who leaves after only two years.