Buchanan lands at technology company

Bruce Buchanan's first job since leaving Jetstar may not have anything to do with aircraft, but he says he is no stranger to his new subject matter.

In his first role since leaving the airline business, the former head of Qantas' low-cost unit Jetstar, has started work as chief executive of technology company Rocklive.

Mr Buchanan says one of his first jobs after university was at a firm that used technology to help manufacturing companies better develop new products.

Unfortunately for Mr Buchanan, it was not a great success.

"It was an entrepreneurial start-up," he said on Wednesday.

"The only problem was most of the manufacturers in Australia were slowly disappearing, so there was a shortage of customers after a period of time."

He will certainly be hoping for better results at Rocklive, a Sydney-based company which offers unique digital advertising solutions for publishers and currently employs about 25 staff.

Based on what he has seen so far, Mr Buchanan was confident the company was on the right path to grab a chunk of the $100 billion global digital advertising market that was forecast to double in the next five years.

Australia's digital advertising sector was worth about $3 billion a year, Mr Buchanan said.

The company's technology platform was already delivering results, with Rocklive achieving click-through rates of between three and 20 per cent compared with 0.08 per cent for traditional banner ads, Mr Buchanan said.

Moreover, he said one client, eBay, had grown revenue 10-fold in the two weeks since using the Rocklive product.

"What these guys do is take the content experience through to a conversation in which then they can communicate to someone about whatever the advertising offer is," Mr Buchanan said.

"The technology is incredibly powerful, but it is built on quite a simple concept."

Click-through rates was an industry measure of how many people click on an advertisement that see on a webpage.

Mr Buchanan, who in addition to being chief executive is also an investor in the firm, said he looked at a number of start ups and emerging companies before settling on Rocklive.

He said his role was to help the company grow, utilising his experience in expanding the Jetstar franchise from a solely Australian domestic business to one that operated in 16 countries and employed 7,000 people.

"This is exactly the sort of challenge that I am looking for, to find a business that has got that sort of potential," Mr Buchanan said.

"You come in here and you meet some of the smartest people you have ever met and you say, 'okay, I know where I want to go'."

Mr Buchanan announced his resignation from Jetstar in May and he left the company at the end of October.

As part of his departure, Mr Buchanan said he was not allowed to comment publicly on Qantas matters.

Market Data

  • Currencies
    Currencies
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    0.9327-0.0005-0.05%
    AUDUSD=X
    0.5555-0.0003-0.05%
    AUDGBP=X
    0.6753-0.0003-0.05%
    AUDEUR=X
  • Commodities
    Commodities
    NamePriceChange% Chg