Jonathan Klein is stepping down as CEO of Getty Images, moving to the new role of chairman. Klein co-founded Getty Images 20 years ago alongside Mark Getty, creating a powerhouse in the distribution of visual images used in media and advertising.
“Mark Getty and I created Getty Images because we believe that imagery has the power to change the world. That is truer today than ever before,” said Klein in a statement. “Visual content is playing an increasing role in the way the world communicates and we see great opportunities ahead. I have every confidence in our business, our people, our award-winning content and our unrivalled expertise. Getty Images’ 20th anniversary is an excellent time to hand the reins to our next CEO, who will build on these strong foundations.”
Klein will remain in the CEO post as the company conducts a search for his replacement. As chairman, he will still play a role in helping to shape the company’s strategy, which is morphing once again today with plans for a new consumer Web site experience.
“Today the company disrupts once again with the launch of its bold new consumer website, which enables seamless sharing of content and introduces hand-curated ‘best of’ galleries,” the company writes in a press release. “Designed for people who are passionate about photography, the new experience caters to the 97 per cent of visitors to www.gettyimages.com who enjoy viewing the world’s best imagery, rather than licensing for commercial or editorial purposes.”
Once publicly traded, Getty Images was acquired in 2012 by The Carlyle Group for $3.3 billion. That was followed by a buyout in 2008 by private equity firm Hellman & Friedman, which paid $2.4 billion for the company.