Avid announced new CEO … and a Media Composer price increase

This post is by Scott Simmons from ProVideo Coalition

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Only a few months ago, Avid completed their takeover by private equity company STG (the full press release is below). And now, ahead of their first NAB being held by private equity, Avid has announced their new CEO, Wellford Dillard. Wellford takes over from Jeff Rosica who led Avid through some unprecedented times that included both the pandemic and well as the recent Hollywood strikes. I remember sitting down with Jeff at NAB 2018, not long after he had taken the reigns and was excited to see where he would take Avid. Here we are six years later, and I think it’s safe to say Jeff leaves Avid in a better place than when he took over, at least on the product side. The private equity acquisition is debatable so we’ll have to see where that goes.

The big thing that stood out to me in the appointment of Dillard as the CEO is that he comes from more of a software background, more specifically SaaS and that’s not what many think about when they think of Avid. While most of us thing of software that runs on the desktop such as Media Composer and ProTools, I think one can argue that one of Avid’s biggest markets is hardware. The Avid NEXIS (and their predecessors) servers are the backbone of post-production for feature films and television. I think many of us thought that STG would leverage the hardware side of Avid more than the software side, but this CEO appointment perhaps signals something else.

Regardless, those of us who love and use Avid wish Wellford well.  I pulled this statement from Mr. Dillard’s LinkedIn profile:

I couldn’t be more thrilled to share that I’ve joined Avid as its new CEO! I truly can’t thank Jeff Rosica enough for his support as I ramp up and for his incredible leadership during his tenure as Avid’s CEO – Jeff leaves some big shoes to fill!
It’s humbling to be joining a team of talented professionals who are the best at what they do and who have helped Avid become the gold standard for delivering incredibly innovative technology and collaborative tools that help creators around the world to entertain, inform, educate, and enlighten us all.
As a self-proclaimed “content junkie” with a lifetime of love for movies, TV, and music (just ask anyone who knows me for some my favorite quotes and about my endless quest to explore new music), I can’t believe I get to be a part of a company with such a rich, 30+ year history of helping media visionaries create art that enriches our culture. I’m looking forward to the continued success of Avid, its people, and the creators who use and love our technology!

Speaking of LinkedIn … Mr. Dillard isn’t completely new to the media space, as he served as CFO for Storyblocks a decade ago.

The other bit of Avid news that is making the rounds is a notice of a price increase for Media Composer subscriptions. That news went out in an email here a week ahead of NAB.

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Depending on how you pay for Media Composer, your email might look different, as we see from this discussion below on Twitter.

Price increases for subscriptions aren’t a shocking thing these days. It’s been funny reading some of the discussion around this over the last 24 hours. It ranges from I’m happy to pay more for software I make my living with all the way to this is the last straw and I’m leaving Avid forever. I think the general consensus is somewhere in between. I’m just happy to teach and Avid class at NAB Post|Production World this year! So join us if you can.

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I was wondering if ProTools was also getting a price increase. I don’t know the answer to that question but this discussion thread points to maybe, yes.

We wish Mr. Wellford Dillard well as he takes over Avid. Below is the full press release from Avid about his appointment.

Press Release

April 2, 2024 at 2:00 PM EDT
Avid Appoints Wellford Dillard as Chief Executive Officer

BURLINGTON, Mass., April 02, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Avid®, a leading technology provider that powers the Media & Entertainment industry, today announced that it has appointed Wellford Dillard as the organization’s next Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Wellford succeeds Jeff Rosica, who is staying with the company in an advisory capacity to ensure a smooth and successful transition.

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Wellford joins Avid after serving as the CEO of Marigold, a leading provider of omni-channel marketing SaaS solutions, used by businesses to manage and deepen customer engagement. Wellford has more than 20 years of experience in the software industry and, prior to Marigold, held CFO roles at vertical software leaders such as Opower and GetWellNetwork, among others.

“We are thrilled to appoint Wellford as the new CEO of Avid,” said William Chisholm, Managing Partner, and Patrick Fouhy, Principal, of STG. “He has an exceptional background leading software businesses and brings a wealth of valuable experience to Avid. His strong track record driving growth will be invaluable during this next phase of the company’s journey. In addition, we want to express our sincere gratitude to Jeff for his leadership and contributions to the company during his tenure as CEO and for his commitment in helping to ensure a successful transition prior to his retirement.”

“I am privileged to join such a terrific team and significant technology leader in the Media & Entertainment industry. It is a critical time for the industry, as well as an important time for Avid, and I am excited to be leading this iconic organization,” said Wellford Dillard. “The company’s continued focus on innovative technology that can help its preeminent customer base deliver on their creative and business objectives will remain at the center of Avid’s focus as we deliver on the company’s strategic goals and next phase of growth.”

“I’m excited about the future of Avid under Wellford’s leadership, and personally believe that he is the right individual at the right time to lead the company,” said Jeff Rosica. “It has been my honor to be the CEO of Avid over the past several years. I am confident that Wellford has what it takes to move the company forward and lead the team to even greater success in the years ahead.”

Avid Powers Greater Creators
People create with Avid’s award-winning technology solutions to make, manage and monetize today’s most celebrated video and audio content—from iconic movies and binge-worthy TV series, to network news and sports, to recorded music and the live stage. What began more than 30 years ago with our invention of nonlinear digital video editing has led to individual artists, creative teams and organizations everywhere subscribing to our powerful tools and collaborating securely in the cloud. We continue to re-imagine the many ways editors, musicians, producers, journalists, and other content creators will bring their stories to life. Discover the possibilities at avid.com and join the conversation on social media with the multitude of brilliant creative people who choose Avid for a lifetime of success.

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