Canon's Behringer adds COO title

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Company: Canon Communications
Location: New York
Title: COO
Big move: Board vice chairman appointed as Canon’s first COO as the company invests in its senior management team
Core responsibilities: Oversee operations at a company bent on reaching new markets and expanding its product offerings despite the recession

It did not take long for the new COO of Canon Communications to get comfortable.
The media company appointed Michael Behringer, already vice chairman of its board and a founder and managing director of parent Apprise Media, to the newly created position in June. The move formalized his strategic role at a company that has bullishly expanded its reach in the global medical device and advanced manufacturing markets.

There is no sign that things will be slowing down: “We’re not resting on any laurels here,” Behringer said.

He will focus on the global growth of the company, researching acquisition opportunities even as Canon continues to integrate and expand the four advanced design engineering media properties it bought from Reed Business Information in February.

Behringer expects the Asia-based assets from that deal to help Canon launch new products and properties that will strengthen its presence in a coveted market. “This really enables us to act in the region in a way that we couldn’t before,” he said. “In the advanced manufacturing sector, we need to be in Asia.”

The company will gain reach in the Canadian market as well, introducing new trade shows that will be collocated with two association events Canon acquired last fall.

“It’s a great example of how we’re able to launch in a region using acquisitions to fuel organic launches and line extensions,” Behringer said. “We’re launching with a built-in base.”

New collocated regional shows will also bolster the company’s presence in European and U.S. markets. “We’re looking for events to continue to be an area of growth for us going forward, both with respect to existing pipelines we have and certainly with respect to expansion opportunities,” Behringer said.

The company expects digital revenues to be accelerated by the development of five new online directories and to grow at a faster rate than either print or trade show properties, Behringer said. “We’re looking at significant, double-digit growth—in the teens.”

The company debuted the first directory, Qmed, in April, unveiling a vertical search engine that will become the model for four more directories to be introduced by 2011, Behringer said. “We designed the platform to be portable into our other verticals. That’s one of the key growth levers for us on the digital side.”

Another catalyst will be the continued development of the company’s master audience file.

Canon also will develop behaviorally targeted advertisements, an area where Behringer said he sees great promise.

But the new COO is not limiting himself to these areas of expansion. “We are going to continue to focus on growing [all our properties],” he said.

Behringer brings more than 20 years of media industry experience to the role and is not afraid of investment during an economic downturn.

“We benefit from the fact that the markets we serve have held up very well,” he said. “We’ve been able to continue to invest in the sector. We keep executing our plan to focus on areas that are going to drive revenue. This recession won’t last forever."

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