All Wind And No Sales, Catena Media Dump Daly

Food for thought, if not for the fishes, following a run of near-catastrophic fiscals Catena Media have dumped their Hollywood CEO Michael Daly overboard in the hope that the once-surging Media Affiliate can get back on course.

In Q4 2023, alone, Catena’s overall revenue dropped by some 41 percent; its Adjusted EBITDA crashed by 88 percent and its prime-focus North American market plunged by 44 percent.

As The Man says, “You Do The Math.”

Yet perhaps the biggest hit of all–at least from Daly’s rear-view perspective– came earlier this month when iGaming Big Dog Mateusz Juroszek, founder of Poland’s dominant STS gambling Omnichannel, recently sold–some would say over-sold–to Jette Nygaard Andersen’s Entain for £750 million (US$948.88mm), candidly called for Catena to be put out of its misery.

“I think Catena Media management should resign today and assets should be sold on the market. What a story in how to destroy the business,” Juroszek asserted in a social media post.

Under Daly’s failed three-year leadership Catena Media, founded in 2012 by Erik Bergmann and Emil Thidell, has lost some 80 percent of its value.

In the last year, alone, the share price of the Stockholm-listed, Malta-headquartered, iGaming Affiliate has dropped by near 75-percent.

Lost Gamble

It would seem that Catena’s big gamble to become the world’s top media marketing affiliate for online sports betting and iCasino has not paid off.

Last year, in what is now seen as a defining corporate miss-step, Catena sold its top brand, AskGamblers, to its main rival, GiG, for €45 million (£38.47m).

It was the latest move by Daly and Catena to reposition themselves as a major North America-centric player.

Daly (pictured, left)–born on a farm in the US state of New Hampshire, brought up in Boston, an ex-US Navy officer and graduate of the elite Massachusetts Institute of Technology–first joined Catena as US General Manager in 2018 and was promoted to Vice President North America in 2020 before being appointed CEO in March 2021.

Coating the bitter pill of Daly’s dismissal with corporate sweetspeak, Catena Board Chair Göran Blomberg explained:

“Under Michael Daly’s leadership, [we have] become an active player in North America and with the actions taken during the strategic review, we have significantly reduced our debt and streamlined the organisation.

“With the company facing lower growth, we have started to implement a number of growth initiatives.

“As we embark on this crucial stage, we are seeking new leadership to drive these initiatives and move Catena Media into its next chapter.”

Not to be confused, Pierre Cadena–not Catena–, currently Vice President of Corporate Strategy, takes over as Interim CEO until a permanent replacement is recruited.

Catena Media shares are today (February 28) trading at SEK8.48, down 3.47 percent, on the Stockholm Stock Exchange.

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