Independent News & Media chairman steps down as part of board changes
The firm’s board praised Leslie Buckley for guiding INM through a “difficult and challenging period”.
Independent News & Media has announced that chairman Leslie Buckley will step down from the company, with the group also set to appoint Murdoch MacLennan to the board as non-executive director.
The Irish publishing firm’s board on Friday praised Mr Buckley, who has held the role since 2012, for guiding INM through a “difficult and challenging period” for the media industry.
In particular, INM flagged a financial restructuring led by Mr Buckley in 2013 which it said cleared a legacy deficit of over 430 million euros (£379 million) to a position where the company has a cash surplus of more than 90 million euros (£79 million).
Mr MacLennan is a media industry veteran, currently serving as chairman of the Press Association and as deputy chairman of the Telegraph Media Group, where he was chief executive for 13 years.
Before joining the Telegraph, he was managing director of Associated Newspapers, and prior to that managing director of the Daily Record and Sunday Mail.
He also chairs the Scottish Professional Football League as well as being a member of the board of the International News Media Association (INMA) and the council of Google’s Digital News Initiative (DNI).
Mr MacLennan’s appointment comes alongside three other non-executive director hires – John Bateson, Fionnuala Duggan and Seamus Taaffe.
The board changes are due for ratification at an extraordinary general meeting in Dublin on March 1, when Mr Buckley will also step down.
He said: “I have great confidence in the company’s future and am delighted that Fionnuala, John, Murdoch and Seamus have agreed to join our board.
“All four bring an enviable record of experience and expertise in newspapers and publishing, digital and the wider corporate world which will strengthen INM’s board at a time when we are facing rapid change and exciting new developments in our industry.”
The Dublin-based media firm’s titles include the Irish Independent, Belfast Telegraph and Sunday World.
Mr Buckley’s successor as chairman will be announced after the EGM.