Yellow Media Hires Solocal Vet as New CEO
Canada’s Yellow Media has named Solocal executive Julien Billot as its new president & CEO. Longtime CEO Mark Tellier departed in August and was replaced temporarily by company chairman Robert McLellan. Billot is expected to take the helm at YPG on January 1.
Billot joined the French search and directory company Solocal (formerly PagesJaunes) in 2009 and served most recently as executive vice president and head of the media group. Before joining Solocal, the 45-year old Billot was CEO of French multimedia publisher Lagardere Active‘s digital and new media group.
Tellier, who ran the Canadian directory publisher for more than a decade, was replaced when the board decided the company needed “fresh eyes,” as McLellan put it, to complete its transformation.
Yellow Media made meaningful strides under Tellier, consolidating the Canadian directories market and building the company’s digital base to 40 percent of total revenue. However, on its Q2 earnings call (Tellier’s last as CEO), company executives were unable to predict when growing digital revenues would offset accelerating print declines.
Solocal is often held up as the global directory company that has most successfully transformed itself from traditional to digital. Therefore recruiting a top Solocal executive to run YPG should come as no surprise.
The Montreal-based company’s next CEO was also expected to be a French speaker, to replace the francophone Tellier.
Julien Ampollini, currently CEO of Solocal Network, will reportedly succeed Billot as head of the media group.