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  • Return of the Jedi: Redbubble co-founder Martin Hosking takes back control of his embattled company

Return of the Jedi: Redbubble co-founder Martin Hosking takes back control of his embattled company

Reddbubble co-founder Martin Hosking is back as CEO of the creative products market for a third time following the resignation of Michael Ilczynski amid a falling share price and an attempt to be cash flow positive.

Hosking, now 62, served as CEO from 2010 to 2018, returning to the role in 2020 after his replacement Barry Newstead was ousted. Ilczynski then stepped into the position in January 2021 for two years before abruptly resigning, effective immediately on Monday “to pursue an opportunity in a non-competitive space and manage a personal matter”. He will assist Hosking, a Redbubble board member, with the transition through the end of the year.

Ilczynski said the past two years have been both rewarding and challenging.

“While I am disappointed that the Group has not returned to growth under my leadership, I am proud of the progress we have made towards our strategic objectives,” he said.

“I remain excited about the future of the Group and look forward to seeing it fulfill its tremendous potential.”

The share price of Redubble (ASX:RBL) is now down about 68% since its listing in 2016. It’s down 72% 12 months ago, from $1.58 to $0.44 cents on Monday.

The company was removed from the All Tech Index last week as part of its quarterly rebalancing, as well as from the All Ordinaries.

The Redbubble Group was founded in 2006 and includes the online marketplaces Redbubble.com and TeePublic.com.

The company slashed costs and cut 14% of its workforce in January in an effort to return the company to cash flow positive by the end of this calendar year.

Hosking is Redbubble’s largest shareholder.

Redbubble chairman Anne Ward said Hosking is best placed to take over.

“As a co-founder, he has unparalleled knowledge of the Group and its operating environment and can immediately meet the requirements of the role,” she said.

“We are fortunate that he can commit to this role for the long term. His reward package will reflect this commitment. ”

Hosking paid tribute to Ilczynski’s contribution as CEO.

“He took over at a difficult time and has laid the foundations for the group’s future success,” he said.

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