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Irish Independent
Irish Independent
Anna Wise

Lord Rothermere to become Daily Mail group CEO as Paul Zwillenberg steps down

Paul Zwillenberg is set to remain working with the Daily Mail group as a senior adviser to the chairman during the company's transition to new leadership. Photo: Jason Alden/Bloomberg

Newspaper tycoon Jonathan Harmsworth, who is better known in the UK as Lord Rothermere, will become the chief executive of the Daily Mail group after taking the publisher private at the end of last year.

Paul Zwillenberg announced that he will be stepping down as chief executive of the Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT) after a six-year tenure that saw the group take over newspaper The i and New Scientist magazine.

Lord Rothermere, who is currently chairman of the Daily Mail and is the great-grandson of its founder, is set to take on his new role when Mr Zwillenberg exits from September 30.

DMGT was de-listed from the London Stock Exchange in December after its biggest shareholder, the Rothermere family, succeeded in its bid to take the group private.

Lord Rothermere said on Thursday that the publisher was now “master of our own destiny” after going private.

He said in a letter to employees: “I am immensely grateful to Paul for everything that he has done over the past six-and-a-half years.

“The needs of DMGT are different to what they previously were, with the size of the group now much smaller.”

Mr Zwillenberg is set to remain as a senior adviser to the chairman while the company transitions to its new leadership.

He said in his own memo to the company that it was the greatest privilege of his career to work closely with Lord Rothermere while stewarding the business at an important time.

Mr Zwillenberg had rejoined DMGT in 2016 “when the company needed a new direction”, he explained. He added that the group had transformed from top to bottom during this period and that “the time is right to step down”.

In December, the business warned that increases in the cost of newsprint were at levels not seen for 25 years, which had started to impact on its profitability.

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