Lord Rothermere will become chief executive of the publisher of the Daily Mail

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The chief executive of the publisher of the Daily Mail has resigned and is to be replaced by Lord Rothermere, the great-grandson of the paper’s founder, who is taking over the day-to-day running of the company after he closed it down earlier this year.

Paul Zwillenberg, who has run the Daily Mail and General Trust since 2016 and led efforts to refocus the group on consumer media, is to step down from the DMGT board at the end of the month. He will remain in an advisory capacity.

Jonathan Harmsworth, the fourth Viscount Rothermere, who is the company’s chairman, will become chief executive.

The boardroom reshuffle comes after the family bought the company for £2.4 billion despite opposition from some prominent institutional investors. DMHT was delisted from the London Stock Exchange in January after 90 years as a public company.

Zwillenberg coordinated the reorganization DMGT through a series of deals, including the sale of insurance risk modeling business RMS, education business Hobsons and energy data specialist Genscape.

The company also distributed its stake in financial publisher Euromoney to shareholders and acquired the i newspaper as well as New Scientist magazine.

In a note to staff on Thursday, Rothermere said: “I am immensely grateful to Paul for everything he has done over the last six and a half years.

“The fact that we are now masters of our own destiny, after closing down the company earlier this year, with a bright future ahead of us, is largely due to him.”

He added that he would “meet with our senior leaders to discuss next steps and new ways of working”.

In a memo, Zwillenberg, a former Boston Consulting Group consultant, said it was “time to step down.”

“The inevitable consequence of the strategy we implemented six and a half years ago, if successful, was that I would be working on myself
work,” he said.

“We have transformed the group from top to bottom, setting it up for long-term success,” he added.

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