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Mar 27, 2024

illumin Appoints Simon Cairns As Chief Executive Officer

Tal Hayek to retire as illumin CEO to become Non-Executive Vice Chairman

TORONTO – March 27th, 2024 –– illumin Holdings Inc. (TSX: ILLM) (“illumin” or “Company”), a journey advertising technology company that empowers marketers to make smarter decisions about communicating with online consumers, today announced the appointment of Simon Cairns as Chief Executive Officer, effective April 15th.

Mr. Cairns is a highly experienced executive with a successful track record driving growth and performance in technology, services, and SaaS platform companies.  With over 24 years of strategic leadership, finance, marketing, operations, and business and corporate development experience, Mr. Cairns joins illumin at a pivotal point in the Company’s growth.

Mr. Cairns most recently served as CEO of SPUD, western Canada’s largest online and omnichannel retailer of fresh foods and healthy products.  At SPUD, he was responsible for returning the business to growth and high performance by focusing on continuously generating value for the customer, significantly increasing financial performance, organizational effectiveness, and brand value.

Before SPUD, Mr. Cairns served as CEO and GM of PNI Media, an enterprise-class ecommerce and value-added services SaaS platform provider that drove creation, ordering, production, and value-add services for the world’s largest retailers. In the past, he has held senior executive roles at organizations including Staples, ESPN, Simple Star and ACD Systems. Mr. Cairns successfully completed the executive leadership program at Harvard Business School and holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Victoria.

Mr. Cairns succeeds Tal Hayek, who as previously announced will transition to Non-Executive Vice Chairman on the Board of Directors of illumin Holdings.

Tal Hayek, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of illumin, stated, “I am extremely excited Simon has agreed to serve as illumin’s next CEO. His outstanding leadership skills and expertise will be invaluable in guiding illumin during the next phase of the Company’s growth and development. Our business is well positioned for long-term growth with the growing adoption of our illumin platform. This revolutionary platform is rapidly transforming the programmatic advertising industry by providing brands unique insights with which they can more effectively manage their advertising and marketing campaigns from a singular, connected interface.”

Sheldon Pollack, Chairman of illumin Holdings, remarked, “On behalf of our Board of Directors, I want to thank Tal for his exceptional leadership over the years and during the CEO transition process. We are thrilled that we will continue to benefit from his experience, and vision on illumin’s Board. I would also like to express how excited we are to have an executive of Simon’s caliber join us. The illumin Board recognizes that CEO succession is one our most important responsibilities and we conducted a thorough process to identify the right leader to bring illumin to the next level of its development. We have the highest confidence in Simon and look forward to working with him to create greater value for all our stakeholders.”

“I am honored to assume the CEO role for illumin and am very excited about the Company’s future as we provide marketers and advertisers a new and distinctive solution for managing the consumers’ advertising journey,” said Simon Cairns. “I would like to thank the Board and the Leadership Team for expressing their confidence in me and look forward to working with Tal, the entire Board and the senior leadership team to deliver results for our customers, our employees and our shareholders.”


About illumin
illumin is a journey advertising platform that enables marketers to reach consumers at every stage of their journey by leveraging advanced machine learning algorithms and real-time data analytics. The Company’s mission is to illuminate the path for brands to connect with their customers through the power of data-driven advertising. Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, illumin serves clients across North America, Latin America, and Europe.

Disclaimer with regard to forward looking statements
Certain statements included herein constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of applicable securities laws. Forward-looking statements are necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions that, while considered reasonable by management at this time, are inherently subject to significant business, economic and competitive uncertainties and contingencies.  Investors are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Except as required by law, illumin does not intend, and undertakes no obligation, to update any forward-looking statements to reflect, in particular, new information or future events.


For further information, please contact:

Steve Hosein
Investor Relations
illumin Holdings Inc.

Babak Pedram
Investor Relations – Canada
Virtus Advisory Group Inc.

David Hanover
Investor Relations – U.S.
KCSA Strategic Communications