Veteran tech director Cass O’Connor to chair Airtasker as investor James Spenceley steps down to focus on humanitarian work

- June 2, 2023 2 MIN READ
Cass O'Connor
Incoming Airtasker chair Cass O'Connor
ASX-listed jobs marketplace Airtasker will have its first female board leader with Cass O’Connor stepping into the chair role next month as James Spenceley departs after eight years.

Spenceley, the founder of telco Vocus, is a prolific VC investor and North Sydney councillor and more recently founded humanitarian organisation Aus Ukraine Aid, was a seed investor in Airtasker after CEO Tim Fung founded the tech platform with Jonathan Lui in 2012, steering it through through its ASX listing in 2021.

In April, the company (ASX:ART) announced it was cutting its workforce by 20% with the loss of 45 jobs, to put its back in the black.

“With Airtasker’s recently announced cost reduction program and targeting cashflow positivity for FY24, coupled with its strong balance sheet, this is an appropriate time to transition to a new chair allowing me additional time to focus on my short-term humanitarian works,” Spenceley said.

“It has been an honour to serve as Chair of Airtasker for the past 8 years. I am proud of the progress we have made as a company and the impact we have had through our mission in Australia. I wish Airtasker all the best for the future and look forward to seeing the company continue to thrive.”

He will step down from the board at the end of June, but for now remains on the boards of Kogan.com (ASX:KGN) and Swoop Telecom (ASX:SWP) for now.

With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine now dragging on into a second year, Spenceley, who is married to a Ukrainian, is looking to increase his humanitarian work, supplying the nation, ambulances and other essential transport and supplies.

Founder Tim Fung thanked Spenceley for “an incredible contribution ” to the business since 2015.

“James was not only one of our earliest investors and supporters but also responsible for driving important milestones including targeting positive operating cash flow, steering us through our IPO, enabling critical acquisitions such as Oneflare and pushing us towards international expansion,” he said.

“On behalf of the Airtasker Board and leadership team, I wish James all the best and am excited to see what he’s got in store next!”

Cass O’Connor chairs NextEd (ASX:NXD) and startups including fintech Different and brand influencer marketplace Tribe, as well as being on the board of iCollege. Her career includes chairing Prime Media Group, and executive roles at tech companies including OzeMail.

The CEO welcomed O’Connor has the new chair.

“Cass has a super impressive track record and her extensive experience in the media industry will be a major asset as we explore creative ways to turbocharge our global expansion and replicate the growth we’ve achieved so far in Australia,” Fung said.

“We’re all looking forward to working with Cass to deliver on the Airtasker mission – to empower people to realise the full value of their skills.”

O’Connors aid it was exciting time to take the helm at Airtasker.

“The company has established a solid position in the flexible work economy in Australia, is poised to replicate its success internationally and has a terrific brand and values set. Importantly,” she said.

“Tim, his executive team, the directors and key backers are recognised and accomplished leaders. I am really looking forward to contributing to Airtasker’s growth trajectory.”