Chief operating officer Matthew Liebmann is departing the Hoyts Group on Friday amid a head office restructure.

The COO role is being eliminated as part of a “flattening” of the management structure, according to Damian Keogh, who was appointed CEO last month.

Keogh thanked Liebmann for his dedication and service over the past six years, particularly in the development of the corporate sales department, Hoyts Rewards loyalty program, introducing people, culture and performance practices for the cinema team and assisting in the development of the Metro by Hoyts cinema in New Zealand.

In a statement to industry colleagues, Keogh said, “Matthew intends to explore opportunities in entertainment, retail and media, drawing also upon his experience as a senior entertainment and media consultant with PricewaterhouseCoopers and a retail consultant with WSL Strategic Retail in New York City. He will remain a board member of Screen Australia."

The highly regarded Liebmann joined Hoyts as Director – Commercial and New Business in 2008 after two years as general manager of SkyCity Cinemas (now Event Cinemas) in New Zealand.

Keogh told IF there will be several other changes but declined to elaborate. He confirmed that Video-on-Demand service Hoyts Stream has just entered a test phase but has not yet announced a launch date.

The streamlining at Hoyts may be related to plans to float the company on the Australian Stock Exchange late this year. The Australian newspaper speculated the IPO could raise $700 million.

Private equity funds advised by Pacific Equity Partners bought the Hoyts Group in 2007 in a deal that valued the exhibition and cinema advertising company at $440 million.

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