Acxiom names Howe CEO; revenue up

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Howe: Acxiom will invest in AOS
Howe: Acxiom will invest in AOS

Marketing services company Acxiom Corp. named Scott Howe CEO and president on July 27, prior to its fiscal first quarter 2012 earnings call. The Little Rock, Ark.-based company reported a 6.9% year-over-year revenue increase to $288.9 million in the period.

Howe previously served as corporate VP of Microsoft's advertising business groups and worked in various executive positions at interactive company aQuantive, which was acquired by Microsoft for $6 billion in 2007.

“For me the biggest driver [in joining Acxiom] was the clients. Clients drive marketing, and in today's environment clients are looking for leadership,” said Howe, during the Q&A portion of the earnings call. “Acxiom has a 30-year history of success. Acxiom has a proven technology and a really talented team that listens well to their clients and has proven themselves to be innovators in the space.”

Howe added that one of his first priorities will be to set company strategy.

"It evolves as the markets around us evolve, but you need a stake in the ground," he said. "Over the next 90 days, we'll fine-tune that.”

Michael Durham, non-executive chairman at Acxiom, said in a statement that the board evaluated a wide range of candidates for the position assisted by executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles.

In its fiscal Q1 2012 earnings statement, Acxiom said cash flow increased 9.2% to $32.8 million for the period ending June 30, compared with the same quarter of fiscal 2011. Income from operations grew 0.5% year-over-year to $22.2 million in the quarter. 

The company's information services division, which includes its products, services and consulting businesses, generated $225.6 million in revenue in fiscal Q1, an increase of 7.1% compared to the prior year.

The information products division, which contains its data technology platforms, saw $63.3 million in revenue, an increase of 6% compared with the first quarter of a year ago.

Jay McCrary, treasurer of Acxiom, said the agency saw an increase in revenue across all products and services. He singled out customer data integrations and multichannel marketing services as notable performers. “Both were up approximately 10%,” he said.

Acxiom said in May that full fiscal-year 2011 revenue increased by 5.5% to $1.16 billion, compared with fiscal 2010. CEO and president John Meyer and CFO Christopher Wolf resigned from the company one day before the end of its 2011 fiscal year. Acxiom was the top-ranked marketing services provider in terms of revenue in the Direct Marketing News' 2011 Agency Business Report.

The service provider's client roster includes Chrysler Group, Toyota Motor Sales and Marriott International.

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