Management Turnover as Change Agent

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Harris interactive Brings in New CEO Talent

Harris Research Interactive, Inc.  HPOL (NASDAQ), the struggling custom research firm, has changed its CEO. Gregory T Novak who has served as the company's president since 2004 and CEO since September 2005 resigned his position, effective immediately.  He has also resigned his position as Chairman.  In his place the board has selecteHarris Interactive One Year Chartd Kimberly Till.  Till had been a CEO of a Harris Research competitor.  According to Market Research Online,

Till was CEO of TNS North America until leaving the firm in March, when it merged its North American and Latin American custom business. Prior to TNS, she was VP of the Worldwide Media and Entertainment Group at Microsoft, and servedKimberly Till 

 as SVP and General Manager of AOL International. She also previously served as the SVP of Strategic Planning and Marketing for Sony Corporation of America, and as the Director of Marketing and Operations for Disney Interactive in Paris, France. Till has an MBA from Harvard Business School, a JD from Duke University Law School and a BA in History from the University of Alabama. 

Harris Interactive has been struggling of late.  The company has lost a fair amount of pharmaceutical related business. According to the Market Research Online article referred to earlier, the company plans to lay off a number of domestic workers.  Till's selection appears to be a good choice.  She has the requisite background in research and more significantly a far greater understanding of marketing than Novak.  Novak was an engineer by trade, Till has a more varied background which should serve her well in this difficult business environment.  While the research market will continue to present difficulties, Till's appointment may be just the medicine to help the company find a new path to progress.

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