Demand Media Hires Sean Moriarty, Ex-CEO of Ticketmaster, as Chief Exec

Internet media, advertising and e-commerce company Demand Media named Sean Moriarty, former chief exec of Ticketmaster, as CEO and member of its board.

Moriarty most recently was CEO of Saatchi Art, an online art-gallery marketplace operated by Saatchi Online. Also Monday, Demand Media announced that it has acquired Saatchi Online for $17 million comprised of a mix of cash and stock. As CEO of Saatchi Art Moriarty was a shareholder, “but did not receive any proceeds from the transaction,” according to a Demand Media rep.

Saatchi Art, on which some 45,000 artists sell their original work, is similar to Demand Media’s Society6 marketplace, which sells clothing and other goods. Demand Media expects the acquisition to contribute revenue of between $500,000 and $1 million per quarter and reduce adjusted EBITDA by $1 million to $1.5 million per quarter.

Moriarty joined Saatchi Art in August 2013, and previously was entrepreneur-in-residence at Mayfield Fund. From 2007 to 2009, he was the CEO of Ticketmaster and before that worked for four years as EVP of product and technology at Barry Diller’s IAC/Citysearch. Moriarty serves on several boards including Eventbrite, Metacloud, TuneIn and the Pat Tillman Foundation.

SEE ALSO: Epic Fail: The Rise and Fall of Demand Media

“Sean is a proven leader and a strong operator with a broad range of experience that is uniquely suited to our business,” Shawn Colo, co-founder and president of Demand Media, said in a statement. Colo had served as interim CEO following the resignation of Richard Rosenblatt last fall.

“Demand Media is an innovative company with a passionate and creative team,” Moriarty said in a statement. “Our businesses are very well positioned in large global categories that people care deeply about, including how-to, health and wellness, humor and art.”

Moriarty, 44, will receive an annual base salary of $400,000, according to a filing by Demand Media with the Securities and Exchange Commission. He also will be granted stock options in Demand Media currently worth $13 million; 25% of the shares subject to the stock option will vest on Aug. 12, 2015, with the remainder vesting over the following four years.

Demand Media, based in Santa Monica, Calif., launched its initial public offering in January 2011 and soared to a market capitalization of more than $2 billion. But the company’s business largely relied on driving traffic from Google search results to its websites, and suffered a falloff after Google modified its algorithms. and Demand Media’s revenue has been steadily shrinking. The company earlier this month spun off Rightside Group, its domain-name registration division, as a standalone business.

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