Acast has lured The Stylist Group’s Georgina Holt to run the Swedish podcast publisher’s international operations.
Holt has left Stylist after three years, most recently as executive director of Stylist Studios. She will become Acast’s managing director for the UK, Ireland and rest-of-the-world regions.
She will be responsible for driving commercial and content growth at Acast, which recently announced 100% revenue growth to £30m for 2019 as podcasts grow in popularity, such as on Apple Podcasts, where the number of shows exceeded one million for the first time this month (comprising 28.4 million episodes).
Joe Copeman, who previously held the managing director role in tandem with his position as global senior vice-president of sales, will now focus solely on the latter, leading Acast’s commercial efforts in all markets globally. Copeman was one of a team of four who launched Acast in the UK in 2014 and was previously UK country manager.
Holt’s move marks a departure from nearly 20 years of mostly commercial roles in the magazine and news publishing sectors. Before joining Stylist in 2017, Holt spent two stints at Hearst, most recently as commercial strategy director and publisher for Cosmopolitan. She has also been head of strategy at Telegraph Media Group and head of creative and partnerships for Storm Digital at Clear Channel.
Ross Adams, Acast’s chief executive, described Holt as the "perfect person for the role" despite the difficulties in finding senior talent with experience of a pure podcasting background because the medium is relatively young.
He said: "The most important thing for us in every new hire we make is a cultural fit – it’s our number-one priority as we look to maintain and grow as a business. And it was clear very early on that Georgina was exactly who we were looking for. Our sales and podcast teams are our biggest teams in every market in which we operate, so her background will also prove vital as we look to build on our offering for publishers, independent podcasters and advertisers alike."