In an astonishing u-turn, Mean Fiddler has ousted chief executive Dean James and scrapped a planned acquisition because its founder and chairman, Vince Power, has refused to go.
[r-zone1]The firm said James was leaving with immediate effect but did not explain why it was scrapping the planned £5.7m acquisition of Media Internet Telecom (MIT), aimed at boosting its music download business Mean Tunes.
A statement issued by Mean Fiddler this morning said: “The process to find a new chief executive to take the business forward and deliver on the current strategy will begin with immediate effect.”
It is the latest development in a week-long saga of speculation and represents a massive u-turn by the company.
Last Tuesday, Mean Fiddler announced that Power was stepping down as part of the acquisition to fill a non-executive role as ‘director of festivals’. The 57-year-old Irishman had told friends he was looking forward to spending more time with his family and planned to finish his autobiography.
[l-zone2]His more ‘hands-on’ role at the company, which would entail taking direct responsibility for the company’s festivals – Reading, Leeds, and Glastonbury – had previously been held by Melvin Benn (pictured), who left the board as part of the management shake-up.
Following last Tuesday’s announcement, shares in Mean Fiddler plumetted by almost 20 per cent. The stock gained ground as the week went on, clawing back 11 per cent of its value following the initial shock of the acquisition and the news that Power would be taking a less hands-on role after his 23 years at the helm.
But now Mean Fiddler has confirmed that Power will continue in his executive capacity and has scrapped the aquisition of MIT, which would have netted Power almost £12m. Richard Clingen, the owner of MIT, was due to have succeeded Powell as chairman.