Visual media company Getty Images has appointed seasoned content industry executive Dawn Airey to the role of Chief Executive Officer, with effect from October 12, 2015. Co-founder and CEO Jonathan Klein is stepping up to the role of Chairman, as announced on the company’s 20th anniversary in March of this year.
Airey was until recently Senior Vice President of Yahoo!’s EMEA businesses, where she led the company’s operations in the region. Prior to that she held senior leadership positions at several major UK media companies, including Chairman and CEO of Channel 5, Managing Director of Global Content at ITV and Managing Director of Channels and Services at BSkyB. Airey is currently part of a UK Government-selected panel charged with reviewing the BBC’s charter renewal.
Klein said that after 20 years at the helm, he was delighted that Airey was joining the team to drive Getty Images in its next phase of growth, innovation and industry leadership. “Our new CEO is an experienced leader with a strong track record of programming and monetising content. Dawn’s deep understanding of the consumer market and the intersection of technology and content means she is well situated to run Getty Images as it explores new opportunities within the consumer space and beyond. We could not be more excited about the future.”
Under Airey’s leadership, Getty Images looks to accelerate its progress in both its traditional businesses as well as new growth areas. Airey said she had long admired Getty Images and relished the opportunity to lead the “iconic global business as it continues to break new ground and propel the industry that this company has pioneered for 20 years.”
“Engaging audiences through the power of visual storytelling is what I am passionate about, and, at its core, that is what Getty Images is all about: inspiring and enabling the world to tell its stories through the exceptional content the team captures each and every day. There is immense potential when it comes to marrying content with new monetization opportunities, and I cannot wait to get started. It’s a pleasure to join such a talented team and to work with Jonathan as we drive the business forward.”
During its first 20 years, Getty Images led the industry into the digital age and has been responsible for every major innovation in the visual content business. From moving the industry online to driving the growth of royalty-free photography; from disrupting the industry with the introduction of crowd-sourcing through iStock by Getty Images to establishing market leadership in news, sport and entertainment content, Getty Images has always been at the forefront. In March 2014, Getty Images revolutionized the industry with the launch of its embed tool, enabling free, legal sharing of over 60 million images, for non-commercial purposes. Today, its embed offering has crossed 3 billion impressions. Airey will focus on building on this rich innovative history as well as new growth areas.
Co-founder and Chairman Mark Getty, who assumes the role of Deputy Chairman, said: “The board and I are pleased to have someone of Dawn Airey’s abilities assume leadership at Getty Images. Dawn’s considerable experience in the media and consumer space, coupled with her strong understanding of programming content, means she is very well-placed to drive Getty Images forward. I am also pleased that Jonathan will be Chairman and Getty Images will continue to benefit from his knowledge and passion which he has used to such great effect during his leadership of our business through 20 remarkable years of innovation, disruption and growth.”