News Media mogul Kerry Stokes retires as chair of Seven Group
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Media mogul Kerry Stokes retires as chair of Seven Group

Kerry Stokes steps down.
Kerry Stokes will step down as chair of Seven Group, but will still head up its media network. Photo: AAP
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Self-made billionaire Kerry Stokes is retiring from the board of his media and investment company, Seven Group Holdings.

Seven on Wednesday said Mr Stokes will step down as executive chairman after 11 years, following an annual general meeting in November.

The ASX-listed company has large stakes in the Seven media group, industrial businesses WestTrac and Coates, as well as Beach Energy.

Mr Stokes recently steered Seven’s off-market takeover of building materials supplier Boral.

The media mogul will remain chairman of Seven West Media, which owns the Seven television network and The West Australian newspaper.

Mr Stokes said he will remain involved with Seven Group in an advisory role.

Seven Group director Terry Davis will takeover the vacated position.

Mr Stokes’ son Ryan is managing director and chief executive.

The elder Stokes will also continue as chairman of Australian Capital Equity Group, which invests in media, energy and industrial businesses.

His rise to power came from humble beginnings. He left school as a 14-year-old and lived on the streets of Melbourne.

He later moved to Perth and made a living installing TV antennas.

In 1978 he made his first media purchase, the Bunbury-based Golden West TV network.

A year later he bought Seven Canberra. Seven Adelaide followed, before Mr Stokes gained the third commercial licence for a television station in Perth.

In 1996, he bought a fifth of the Seven network. This stake included Pacific Magazines and the Yahoo7 online venture.

In 2006, Mr Stokes created the joint venture Seven Media Group and partnered with a US investment firm.

In 2011 the company merged with West Australian Newspapers.

Seven Group on Wednesday revealed a full-year underlying net profit of $504.6 million, up seven per cent.

Seven shares were down 5.18 per cent to $21.69 at 1151 AEST.

-AAP