08/15/2013 07:26 EDT | Updated 10/15/2013 05:12 EDT

Tellier leaves Yellow Media, chairman takes on CEO's role on interim basis

MONTREAL - Yellow Media Ltd. (TSX:Y) says the chairman of its board of directors will take on the CEO's role temporarily as the publishing company continues to search for a permanent replacement for Marc Tellier, who vacates the position today.

The Montreal-based publisher of paper directories and online content announced in March that Tellier, who held the post since 2001, would leave by mid-August — providing a four-month transition period.

Yellow Media's chairman, Robert MacLellan, announced Thursday that he will be interim CEO while the board evaluates candidates for a permanent replacement.

"The Board's search committee is pleased with the progress to date," MacLellan said in a statement.

"A number of good candidates have come forward and we are committed to a thorough selection process which remains ongoing."

MacLellan, also chairman of an independent fund manager called Northleaf Capital Partners, was chief investment officer for TD Bank Financial Group (TSX:TD) from 2003 until November 2009, when he went to Northleaf.

Yellow Media has been trying to chart a course in an Internet-based marketplace where search engines have eaten into the need for paper directories, which had been a highly profitable, advertiser-driven business for decades.

In May, Yellow Media announced a $53.5 million profit for the first quarter, which contrasted with a year-earlier loss when Yellow Media recognized a $2.9-billion impairment of goodwill, an intangible asset linked to the value of acquisitions.

A week ago, Yellow announced it had $50.3 million of net income in the second quarter ended June 30, down from $65.7 million a year earlier. Revenue was $243.2 million, down from $286.5 million.

Yellow Media disclosed in April that Tellier would get $4.3 million in separation pay when he left.