Mumbrella can reveal that Nine Entertainment Co appointed Simon Halfhide as the new CEO of its automotive platform, Drive, following Alex Parsons promotion to Nine’s digital director in July.
Halfhide has been interim CEO since August and joined the brand in 2020 as CFO, a position he is now promoted to CEO.
“I am delighted that Simon has been named the CEO of Drive,” said Parsons. “Over the past several months, he has successfully overseen the integration of the Drive brand into our digital presence and will help take the brand to new levels. “
Halfhide joined Drive last year from Dentsu Aegis Network (now Dentsu International), where he was responsible for commercial finance, after also serving as COO of the Enero Group BMF.
He has a hybrid experience with media and marketing during his career to date, with roles at Sensis, Fox Interactive Media and Campbell Arnotts.
“I’m incredibly excited to be taking over Drive at what is a big point for the automotive space,” said Halfhide.
“Over the past 12 months, the industry has adapted to unprecedented demand for new cars, and for Drive that means the team has stepped up and accelerated their growth plans to leverage our strength and our leadership in the new car market. “
Along with his appointment, Halfhide revealed that Dive will be coming to Nine’s TV lineup in 2022, with the team working on an expanded brand exposure.
“Next year we will further accelerate these plans as we move forward to bring the Drive brand to the big screen.”
This is in addition to the integration of Drive “through Nine’s digital automotive properties”.
“We’ve been looking for the right ways to bring the brand to TV for some time now, and I’m happy to say that in 2022 Drive will be on the 9Network. We will announce details of the new TV presence at the start of the New Year, ”said Halfhide.
Nine relaunched its Drive offering earlier this year, with a new website announcing a brand refresh for the platform at the end of 2020. This came after Nine consolidated Drive as the sole automotive platform. , in turn withdrawing the CarAdvice brand.
Drive and CarAdvice previously shared content, products and business functions on the respective platforms since 2019, and following a rebranding from Drive, Nine has moved to a brand and a platform.
CarAdvice, which had been owned by Fairfax since 2016, was inherited by Nine when the brands merged in 2018. The brand was retired several months ago.
CarAdvice co-founders Alborz Fallah and Anthony Crawford have since launched the new car offering CarExpert, which recently signed an agreement with market competitors Seven West Media.
Mumbrella can also confirm that Mathew McNay, current National Sales Director at Drive, has joined CarExpert, following his former bosses. In his role, McNay reported to Brodie Taylor, Drive’s Commercial Director, at CarAdvice since 2015, joining as Account Manager.
A spokesperson for Drive told Mumbrella, “We wish him well.”
CarExpert was contacted for comment, but had not responded at the time of posting.
Mumbrella reported last month that Andrew Dalton, CEO of CarExpert, stepped down as CEO after less than two years in the role, with publisher Alborz Fallah taking the interim role.
CarExpert told Mumbrella that Dalton had always planned to step down and remained a director on the company’s board.
Fellow Nine Entertainment Co, stablemate Domain Group, this week extended its existing syndicated installation agreement. Under the amended facility agreement, which is expected to be available later this month, the real estate platform will have access to $ 355 million through: a revolving contingent instrument facility of $ 5 million over four years ; a revolving cash advance facility of $ 210 million over four years; and a revolving cash advance facility of $ 140 million over five years.
The facility will be available to fund general business and working capital objectives of the area group, including for new acquisitions and to meet ongoing funding investment needs.