Return of the Jedi: Redbubble cofounder Martin Hosking takes charge of his embattled company once again

- March 28, 2023 2 MIN READ
Redbubble, Martin Hosking
Redbubble cofounder and now CEO, again, Martin Hosking
Reddbubble cofounder Martin Hosking is back as CEO of the creative products marketplace for a third time following the resignation of Michael Ilczynski amid a plunging share price and a push to be cash flow positive.

Hosking, now 62, was CEO from 2010 to 2018, then returned to the role in 2020 after his replacement Barry Newstead was ousted. Ilczynski then stepped into the role in January 2021 for two years before resigning suddenly, effective immediately on Monday “to pursue an opportunity in a non-competitive space, and to manage a personal matter”. He will assist Hosking, a Redbubble board member, with the transition until the end of the year.

Ilczynski said the last two years have been both rewarding and challenging.

“While I am disappointed that the Group has not returned to growth under my leadership, I am proud of the progress we have made towards achieving our strategic objectives,” he said.

“I remain excited about the Group’s future and look forward to seeing it achieve its tremendous potential.”

Redubble’s (ASX:RBL) share price is now down around 68% since it listed in 2016. It has fallen 72% on this time 12 months ago, from $1.58 to $0.44 cents on Monday.

The company was removed from the All Tech Index last week as part of its quarterly rebalance, and also removed from the All Ordinaries.

The Redbubble Group was founded in 2006, and includes the online marketplaces Redbubble.com and TeePublic.com.

The company has been cutting costs, shedding 14% of its workforce in January, in a drive to bring the business back to cash flow positive by the end of this calendar year.

Hosking is Redbubble’s co-founder largest shareholder.

Redbubble Chair Anne Ward said Hosking is best-placed to take over.

“As a cofounder, he has unparalleled knowledge of the Group and its operating environment and can immediately fulfill the requirements of the role,” she said.

“We are in the fortunate position that he is able to commit to this role for the long term. His compensation package will reflect this commitment. ”

Hosking paid tribute to Ilczynski contribution as CEO.

“He took over during a challenging time and has laid the foundation for the future success of the Group,” he said.