Guardian News & Media has recruited chief editor of Zeit Online Wolfgang Blau as director of digital strategy.
Reporting jointly to chief executive Andrew Miller and editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger, he will start on 1 April 2013.
He will have a remit to work across editorial and commercial teams “helping them to grow global audiences and revenues by developing new digital platforms that deepen reader engagement and provide new opportunities to commercial partners”.
Miller said: “With Wolfgang’s extensive experience and knowledge of digital we are very excited to be welcoming him to Guardian News & Media. His track record for developing robust business models online make him the ideal candidate to help us make the most of the commercial opportunities generated by our huge and highly-engaged audience.”
Rusbridger said: “Wolfgang is an innovative digital thinker who understands the opportunities that the Guardian’s trusted journalism and open approach to publishing on the web present. His guidance and insight will be invaluable to Guardian News & Media as we continue the journey towards a digital-first future.”
Blau said: “The Guardian is respected around the world and has been inspiring me for a number of years. I am very much looking forward to joining the team and to contributing to their digital-first strategy.”
Blau has been chief editor of Zeit for nearly five years. From 1999 to 2007, he worked in Silicon Valley in the USA as a freelance reporter and columnist for German newspaper Die Welt, German broadcaster ZDF, and the radio news syndicator BLR-Radiodienst.
Blau helped found Audible.de, now part of Amazon and is vice president of the Global Editors Network.
He will join the GNM executive committee and the joining ITV former group marketing director David Pemsel who was appointed to the job of chief commercial officer last month.