Interview: Hostworks chief, Paul Mullen

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Interview: Hostworks chief, Paul Mullen

Some 18 months after leading Broadcast Australia's $68.9 million acquisition of Hostworks, Paul Mullen has now been given the nod to run the acquired company as managing director.

Mullen's appointment, as reported by iTnews, comes at a challenging time for Hostworks, following the departure of two key executives and the loss of a key Broadcast Australia account.

Mullen took some time out of his first week at Hostworks to discuss his appointment with iTnews editor Brett Winterford.

iTnews: You've had a few days to look closely at the Hostworks business now. What are your first impressions?

Paul Mullen: It's a good business. I have always liked this business, which is why I led the purchase of it for Macquarie.

What did you like about it?

The main rationale was to follow Broadcast Australia's strategic customers into the online space.

Broadcast Australia was very competitive in the transmission side, but not in online. The acquisition provides [Broadcast Australia] another platform for connecting content owners to their customers.

How has Broadcast Australia fared in bringing existing customers into the Hostworks business?

Hostworks hasn't made any huge inroads. We have done some small pieces of work for SBS and the ABC [television networks]. We are looking closely at the ABC, who as you know are putting a lot more effort into driving online content.

ABC, as with any [Broadcast Australia] customer, take a very neutral position. You don't get the online business just because you have their transmission business. To win their online business we have to be very good, very smart, etc.

Have you spoken to Hostworks customers since you came on board as Managing Director?

No, certainly it is very much on my agenda. I am conscious this is a high-touch business.

Are you concerned that Hostworks has seen two of its core staff - its founder and sales manager, exit the company in the last few months?

Not at all. We've got a very competitive sales team that manage clients very well. Marty [Gauvin] did a great job of setting up this business, I plan to capitalise on that.

Who will you report to?

I essentially will report to Graham Barkley, the CEO at Broadcast Australia.

Is everybody at Broadcast Australia supportive of the Hostworks business?

We are all very supportive of Hostworks. We wouldn't have bought it if we weren't.

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