The new owner of Belfast Telegraph publisher INM has named Belgian executive Marc Vangeel as chief executive officer of the media group, as it moved to assert direct control following a takeover process.
Outgoing Independent News & Media (INM) chief executive Michael Doorly told staff yesterday he was standing down with immediate effect and will be replaced as CEO by Mr Vangeel, a long-time Mediahuis executive.
Mr Doorly said he will remain available to INM to support a smooth transition.
Mr Vangeel was most recently chief executive of the Mediahuis-owned Telegraaf Media Groep in Amsterdam, which publishes the biggest daily newspaper in the Netherlands.
He was previously CEO of Concentra in Belgium, one of the newspaper groups that first merged to create Mediahuis, and subsequently became Mediahuis chairman.
The move marks the definitive stage in the acquisition of INM by Mediahuis following sign-off by the High Court in Dublin on Tuesday, the last in a series of approvals including those from shareholders, competition authorities and the Republic's communications minister Richard Bruton.
INM also publishes the Sunday Life, belfasttelegraph.co.uk and nijobfinder.co.uk.
Mr Doorly told staff: "This is indeed a historical day for INM and in many ways, the end of an era, but most importantly, the start of an exciting new chapter for the company.
"This is a time for change and INM will benefit from its membership of the larger Mediahuis Group as it accelerates its digital transformation programme."
As well as the appointment of a new CEO, Mediahuis named Belgian journalist Peter Vandermeersch to the new role of publisher at INM, where he will be responsible for the long-term strategy of INM's titles. INM's current managing director of publishing, Richard McClean will assume the role of chief operating officer (COO).
Mediahuis also named a new board of directors for INM, which becomes a subsidiary of the Antwerp-headquartered parent. INM plc chairman Murdoch MacLennan will remain as chair, with current directors Fionnuala Duggan, Kate Marsh and Len O'Hagan also remaining
The chairman of Mediahuis, Thomas Leysen, its CEO Gert Ysebaert, its COO Paul Verwiltand and new INM CEO Marc Vangeel will all join the INM board. Of the old board, Catriona Mullane, John Bateson, Kieran Mulvey and Seamus Taaffe have resigned as directors.