LIVONIA — Valassis, one of the nation’s leading media and marketing services companies, announced the planned retirement of its Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Alan F. Schultz, on December 31, 2011, after 27 years with the company. Mr. Schultz will retain his Chairman of the Board role and has also entered into a three-year consulting arrangement with the company to assist with the leadership transition.
This agreement will be effective on January 1, 2012, upon the expiration of Mr. Schultz’s current employment contract. The Board of Directors has appointed Rob Mason, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing, to succeed Mr. Schultz as Chief Executive Officer and President. In preparation for the transition, Mr. Mason has been appointed to the Valassis Board of Directors effective September 1, 2011.
Rob Mason has been with the company since 1995 and has held a variety of leadership positions at the company, including his current position of Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing, where he is responsible for leading a team of approximately 700 sales and marketing professionals. Previously, he held the positions of President of ADVO (currently the Valassis shared mail business segment) and Chief Sales Officer.
"I have great confidence in Rob and his ability to lead our company to the next level. He has proven his readiness through our planned succession process and will be supported by our deep and experienced management team," said Schultz. "Rob and I will work side-by-side to ensure a smooth transition."
The succession plan at Valassis has been overseen by its Board of Directors.
"Our succession planning efforts over the past several years have led us to a tremendous candidate in Rob Mason," said Joseph A. Anderson, member of the Valassis Board of Directors and Chairman of the Corporate Governance/Nominating Committee. "Rob’s leadership and vision made him the clear choice to become the future CEO."
"I am honored to be given the opportunity to lead this great company, and eager to drive Valassis through the next phase of our journey," said Mason. "It’s an exciting time to be leading this company. Our core business is healthy which allows us the ability to focus on our investment in our digital media business and drive significant growth over the coming years."
In 2007, Schultz led the company through a $1.2 billion acquisition and integration of ADVO Inc., the nation’s then-leading direct mail media company. The successful integration and significant improvements to this business have contributed greatly to the company’s strong financial performance.
"It has been my privilege to serve the more than 7,000 Valassis associates for over 27 years," said Schultz. "Together, we have created a culture that values innovation, risk-taking and provides more value to consumers than anyone in the world. I could not be more proud of the accomplishments of our team, and I am pleased that Rob will now have the opportunity to lead the company as our next CEO."
Schultz’s career with Valassis began in 1984, and he held a variety of leadership positions before being named CEO and President in 1998. Under his leadership, the company has nearly quadrupled revenues, significantly diversified its customer base and product portfolio and evolved into a global marketing services powerhouse with revenues in excess of $2.3 billion. Today, it offers blended media solutions to over 15,000 advertisers in a wide-variety of industries.