Cafeyn confirms Laurent Kayser as CEO and further strengthens its leadership team

December 19, 2023

Following the sudden death of Ari Assuied, former Founder and CEO of Cafeyn, the board of directors, chaired by Tom Alexander, has appointed Laurent Kayser as CEO and strengthened its leadership team:

●     Marion Assuied, member of the board since 2020, becomes majority shareholder.

●     Aliza Jabès, founder and President ofthe Nuxe cosmetics brand, joins the board.

●    Marc Vayssière, former CFO at Michelin, joins Cafeyn as CFO.

Today, Cafeyn Group (“Cafeyn” or the "Company"), a leading online press and media distribution platform, announced the appointment of Laurent Kayser as the company’s new Chief Executive Officer. This announcement comes after the news of the sudden and tragic death of Ari Assuied, Cafeyn’s Founder and CEO, in October. In addition, the Company today also announced that Marc Vayssière, former CFO of various Michelin Group branches, will join Cafeyn's management committee as CFO. Following Ari’s passing, his wife, Marion Assuied, became majority shareholder of Cafeyn, alongside Bregal Milestone, a leading technology growth private equity firm, who invested in November of2020. Marion, a board member since 2020, will further strengthen Cafeyn by taking a leading role in the group’s strategic decision making. Finally, Aliza Jabès, Founder and President of leading cosmetics brand Nuxe, will join the board.

Prior to his appointment as CEO, Laurent served as Deputy CEO at Cafeyn. Having worked at Cafeyn since 2018, the board considered it a natural next step for Laurent to join as CEO. With his prior experience in banking and investing, Laurent will maintain the Company’s vision while working to continue to implement new strategies that will help Cafeyn accelerate its international growth.  

Marion Assuied, Cafeyn’s majority shareholder, previously ran the international make-up company BY TERRY and then founded the wellness brand INUR Beauty. For three years running, she has been voted one of the 100 top leaders under 40 who play a role in the French economy (Figaro Choiseul ranking). Marion will put her experience of managing international companies and her marketing and sales expertise in the consumer sector to use for Cafeyn's development, notably in the ongoing acquisition, in partnership with Bonnier News, of the non-Nordic activities of Readly, in line with Cafeyn's ambition to establish the leading European platform with a dedicated audience of engaged users.

Continuing Ari's mission was an obvious choice for me, as was ensuring I continue working alongside Laurent,” said Marion. “Access to a wide range of high-quality information and news is today more important than ever, and we believe that Cafeyn will play a key role in the years to come. Together, we intend to pursue the development of Cafeyn initiated by Ari over the last few years, in line with his vision and commitment".

"Marion, Bregal Milestone and I share a common vision for Cafeyn, and above all, realize the importance of media’s role in our modern society” added Laurent. “Together with our expanded management team, I will strive to further develop Cafeyn, working to create the European champion that Ari had been striving towards for the past sixteen years”.

Cafeyn also welcomes Aliza Jabès to the board of directors. As the Founder and President of the renowned cosmetics brand Nuxe, and member of Vivendi's Supervisory Board, Aliza is regularly honoured for her professional achievements and contribution to the economy. She will bring a fresh perspective to the company, as well as exceptional entrepreneurial experience and know-how in the development of high-profile consumer brands on an international scale.

Cafeyn’s management team will be further strengthened by Marc Vayssière, former CFO of various Michelin Group branches, as Chief Financial Officer. Marc will support Cafeyn's strategy of diversification and consolidation in the European market. Drawing on his M&A and business expertise in both B2C and B2B sectors, and the international dimension of his previous activities, he will play a key role in achieving Cafeyn’s ambition.

"In recent years, Cafeyn has demonstrated the quality of its service, both for users and for distribution partners, particularly telecom operators, who have fully integrated this type of player into their global strategy. I am delighted to welcome these new members to Cafeyn's Board and Management Committee, who will bring their expertise to Cafeyn's development, both in France and internationally. This is a major new step for the group", adds Tom Alexander, Chairman of the Cafeyn Board, founder of Virgin-Mobile, former CEO of EE (Orange UK).

Cafeyn has made great strides including consolidating its leadership position in the French market, extending its domestic franchise into children’s media with the acquisition of Kidjo, and further internationalizing through the development of its business in the UK and its acquisition of Blendle, a leading Dutch digital news and magazine kiosk. Today’s announcement and changes support Cafeyn's strategy to continue ambitiously developing its offering to publishers and users. The board will continue to expand in the coming months to support this ambition.


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