ITV commercial chief Fru Hazlitt steps down

ITV’s commercial director Fru Hazlitt is to leave after more than four years for personal reasons.

Hazlitt, who has overseen the broadcaster’s advertising and digital offering since 2010, has decided to move overseas with her family. The move is reportedly due to her suffering a non-life threatening illness that requires treatment followed by a period of recuperation.

Kelly Williams, who served as Hazlitt’s number two in her role as commercial sales director, is to become managing director for ITV’s commercial business. She assumes Hazlitt’s broadcast duties and also joins ITV’s management board as part of the promotion.

Hazlitt’s online, pay-TV and interactive remit will be handed to group director of strategy and technology Simon Pitts. He has been promoted to managing director of online pay and interactive.

Since joining the business four years ago, Hazlitt has championed TV’s enduring resilience to advertisers and urged them not to be distracted by emerging media formats.

The sales pitch, which prioritised creating quality content in line with emerging consumer habits, appears to have resonated with advertisers.

During her tenure online, pay and interactive revenue have jumped from £50m to £150m annually, while profits have climbed from £14m to £90m. Revenue from broadcast and online initiatives jumped 7% year-on-year in the first half of 2014.

Adam Crozier, ITV chief executive, says: “Fru has been a terrific member of the management team, and has done a fantastic job in transforming ITV’s commercial operation and building our online, pay and interactive business.  She leaves with our thanks and very best wishes.”

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