Ken Fitzpatrick, the former CEO of the Saon Group and of Simply Zesty, has been appointed CEO of the Digital Marketing Institute.
Fitzpatrick will take over the running of the company from current CEO Ian Dodson and managing director Anthony Quigley and will be responsible for leading the company’s “ongoing international expansion and establishing its programmes as the global standard for digital marketing education.”
His day-to-day role will involve all areas of the company, from the operational side through to business development.
Most recently Fitzpatrick oversaw the sale of Simply Zesty to UTV Media. Before that, he was group CEO of Denis O’Brien and Leslie Buckley-owned online recruitment company Saongroup.com for two years until February 2008.
During his time there, Fitzpatrick grew staff numbers to over 800 worldwide across 22 different businesses with revenues exceeding €28m. He also developed and led the group’s international expansion strategy, which saw the team complete nine acquisitions, five start-ups, and enter seven new markets in 18 months.
“The Digital Marketing Institute’s goal and ambition are to be the international standard for digital marketing education,” said Dodson. “Our focus, through the support of Enterprise Ireland, has been on international markets for some time. To date we’ve achieved good traction and success, growing the company from two people to 24 people.
“Now we’re entering a phase where we need a strong hand at the helm to take advantage of the domestic and overseas opportunities that exist for this business as it moves from a small business to a medium-sized enterprise with global traction and ambition.
“As entrepreneurs, we need to let go, we can only take a business so far. We wanted to bring on board someone who had significant international experience positioning Irish companies in the global marketplace, and we’ve found this in Ken.”
“To be joining the growth story that is the Digital Marketing Institute is an exhilarating prospect,” said Fitzpatrick. “The business has expanded significantly both domestically and internationally, and I’m delighted to be joining the team to bring the business to the next level.
“I believe that digital marketing is a key economic driver in most developing and maturing economies and the Digital Marketing Institute is right at the heart of that with its education programmes. What attracted me to the company was the quality of these courses – they are second to none. I have a background in internationalizing and growing businesses, working with owners and founders, and I hope to do that again here.”
Fitzpatrick also previously established his management consultancy practice where he advised some domestic and international companies/investors ranging from SMEs to large corporations. While running this consultancy business, he took an executive position with one of his clients and became CEO of Weddingsonline.ie for a year until October 2010.
He holds a bachelor of business studies degree from DCU.