UPDATE 2.40pm: Former Woodside chief executive Don Voelte has been appointed chief executive officer and managing director of Seven West Media, replacing veteran television executive David Leckie.
Mr Leckie will remain in the newly created position of executive director of Seven Group Holdings.
The announcement was made in a statement to the ASX a short time ago.
Seven West Media Chairman Kerry Stokes said Mr Voelte, currently a Seven West Media director, is internationally recognised as one of the world's best executives.
And he paid tribute to Mr Leckie, saying he was undoubtedly the best television executive in Australia.
Mr Voelte will lead an experienced media executive team across the company's television, online, magazines and
newspaper businesses, the statement said.
Mr Leckie said: "I am looking forward to this new role. It's been a great honour to lead Seven. We've had fun, kicked some goals and together built a very good media business. But it's time for me to take a career step and I'm looking forward to playing a key role in Seven Group Holdings and further enhancing the company's media presence. I am also looking forward to working with Don and his great team of media executives."
Mr Voelte said his role was to harness the businesses and its leaders.
"I love building sustainable businesses," Mr Voelte said.
"We have the best brands in the media and we have a strong management team.
"Our objectives are clear: leadership in a sector undergoing radical change, develop our management teams, improve our financial performance without impacting the product for our readers, viewers and advertisers, and create opportunities to expand our presence in media."
Mr Stokes said that as a director of Seven West Media, Mr Voelte had made a strong contribution to the development of the business.
"He is acknowledged for driving businesses in challenging and competitive markets. He is a highly qualified executive who will lead a skilled management team as we take advantage of the significant opportunities in media over the coming years," Mr Stokes said.
Mr Leckie – who has successfully guided the development of Seven West Media over the past nine years - will continue his involvement in media and as part
of Seven as an executive director on the board of Seven Group Holdings, which has major shareholdings in Seven West Media, Consolidated Media and Prime Media.
He will also continue to be involved in Seven's television business in an advisory and counsel role working closely with Mr Voelte and CEO of Seven Network Television, Tim Worner.
Mr Stokes said Mr Leckie is a strong leader and had built a strong and well-credentialled management team.
"He commands the respect of the people here at Seven West Media and across the entire industry," he said.
“David has been fundamental to our success and we are looking forward to him continuing to play a key role in our company as a director on the board of Seven Group Holdings with a particular focus on that company’s media investments.
Seven West Media also reaffirmed full-year underlying trading EBIT estimates in line with the previous guidance of $460m to $470m, subject to any year-end review and audit adjustments.
Seven West shares closed down 27 cents, or 13.71 per cent, to $1.70 on fears the company was set to embark on a discounted capital raising.