Ex-ninemsner Sneesby returns as Cudo CEO

news Mike Sneesby (pictured) was yesterday announced as the Chief Executive of Cudo, the online group buying company that is a joint venture between Microsoft and Nine Entertainment Co (NEC).

The Cudo ‘deal of the day’ website is in its second year of trading after its launch on September 1st, 2010. One of Australia’s fastest growing local companies, Cudo claims to have sold more than one million vouchers since its launch and established itself as an essential growth partner for more than 3,000 small businesses. Cudo sends daily offers to over one million Australians, potentially saving them millions of dollars.

Sneesby described his new role as CEO of Cudo as a great opportunity as well as a challenge, and expressed his excitement about re-entering the Australian media industry. “Cudo delivers a great service for consumers and advertisers and I look forward to exploring new avenues to take the business. We are coming off a very strong base with great momentum and we have the team in place to continue to evolve and innovate our offering,” Sneesby said.

Speaking about his decision to step down, outgoing founder and CEO Billy Tucker said that it felt like the right time to leave Cudo. “In a relatively short space of time we have built an exceptional team who have turned Cudo into a household name. Mike is perfect for the next phase of growth at Cudo, I’m delighted that he has agreed to come back to Australia for the role and I know the business is in very safe hands,” Tucker stated.

Cudo has been in the news over the last year for more than just its accelerated growth graph. In May, Tucker had challenged Hitwise traffic data that showed rival company Groupon to have grabbed a major share of local web traffic shortly after its February launch. Prior to that, Cudo had sent a letter alleging copyright infringement to local group buying aggregation site Buyii.

The Director of Strategy and Digital, Nine Entertainment Co, David Coleman said that Cudo had grown into a significant digital business in a very short period. “We are looking forward to its further growth in the new year. The success of the company to date is a reflection of the great work of Billy Tucker in building the business from scratch,” stated Coleman.

Sneesby was previously the Vice President of IPTV and Technology at Intigral, a digital media joint venture between Saudi Telecom, the Saudi Research Marketing Group and Astro Malaysia. Sneesby had led Intigral’s IPTV business unit and headed operations and technology functions across the company (IPTV, Mobile and Web).

Before joining Intigral, Sneesby had headed Corporate Strategy and Business Development for ninemsn, setting up and developing high growth digital media businesses. He established “MSN New Zealand” and built it up into an award winning market leader in digital publishing. Before that, Sneesby worked at Singtel-Optus where he had led the migration of the company’s national broadband network.

The Group CEO of ninemsn, Mark Britt said that Sneesby was an exceptional executive having considerable experience in Australia and internationally. He named Cudo an important pillar in the group’s data and advertising strategy as they moved forward.

Speaking about his experience working with Sneesby, Britt highlighted his strong leadership skills and his record of delivering growth and innovation in digital media businesses. “Mike is joining Cudo following its amazing start-up year. Cudo could not have launched and delivered such outstanding results without Billy at the helm. It is testament to Billy’s hard-work, vision and sheer determination that Cudo has developed into one of the leading group buying companies in Australia,” said Britt.

Image credit: Mike Sneesby