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7digital Names John Aalbers CEO As Simon Cole Exits

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London-based digital services company 7digital has appointed a new leader, John Aalbers, with current director/CEO Simon Cole scheduled to step down in April.

Cole, who has led 7digital since its formation from a reverse merger with UBC Media in 2014, has been planning his exit since last year. But amid recent uncertainty surrounding the company's relationship with European retailer MediaMarktSaturn, Cole said in a statement that he felt he "could not leave until that position was resolved." Earlier this month, 7digital agreed to a $4.5 million settlement ending its partnership with German music service Juke, which is owned by MediaMarktSaturn.

"I leave 7digital in good shape and in good hands," Cole added. "I have enjoyed this adventure and, in particular, leading an extraordinarily talented and dedicated group of people.”

Added 7digital chair Don Cruickshank: “The Board wishes to give profound thanks to Simon for his insights and vision in seeing that many companies and brands would wish to support and nurture their business models with music delivered by streaming technologies, and that they would need access to a neutral, efficient and cost-effective platform. That is what 7digital now provides and, after some turbulent years, it is very well-positioned to thrive in the streaming-based music market of the future. We wish him well in his future endeavours."

Aalbers, a former CEO of Arts Alliance Media and Volubill, will assume the CEO role on April 1. Cole will be “concentrating on his other business interests,” according to the announcement.

"[Aalbers'] career is distinguished with success in a number of not-dissimilar challenges to those facing 7digital, all based on sector focussed software and platform services," Cruickshank said. "The Board looks forward to working with John to build the Company both in scale and scope of business.”