Allan has spent the past six years at News. Most recently he was COO of The Australian and before that CEO of TrueLocal.com.au. He will commence at Sensis on Monday 6 August.
Announcing his appointment, Telstra Media's group managing director, Rick Ellis, said: "John joins Sensis at a critical juncture as we work to make Sensis Australia's leading directories and digital marketing services business."
"His brief will be to deliver on our long term digital strategy, as well as our program to step up simplification of the Sensis business and accelerate digital growth, setting the business on course for success in the digital age.
Sensis is certainly at a critical juncture and much work will be needed to make it "Australia's leading directories and digital marketing services business."
Sensis' performance in the digital market has been less than spectacular: the growth of its digital business has fallen well behind the growth of that market.
This was well behind the overall market. Just days later IAB Australia released its latest Online Advertising Expenditure Report showed 17 percent year-on-year growth in expenditure for the first three months of 2011.
Despite the lack of growth in its digital business, Akhurst claimed at the time that Sensis was "A digital led business". He said the digital market was fragmenting as it grew, making marketing increasingly difficult, but that Sensis had a unique ability to build, package and market cross-platform solutions.
A few months later, in mid 2011, Sensis was stripped of its digital media arm which Telstra had decided to merge with BigPond Advertising and Telstra Classifieds to form a new integrated digital advertising business.
In February 2012 Telstra reported that Sensis sales revenue had declined by 24.0 percent in H1 of FY12 from H1 of FY11. Telstra said there had been an "acceleration in the decline of Yellow print revenues as the market evolved more rapidly than expected," and that Sensis' first half results had also been impacted by the movement of the recognition of the Perth Yellow Pages book into the second half.
More will be revealed when Telstra announces its full year results on August 9. Meanwhile, Allan said: Sensis was "embarking on a clear roadmap to deliver on its digital strategy."
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