Trinity Mirror has announced that Sly Bailey is to step down as chief executive of the company at the end of the year.
In a statement released this afternoon Bailey said: “For the past ten years I have had the privilege of being CEO of Trinity Mirror Plc, a fascinating and all consuming role. Newspapers are a business like no other.
“Now I feel the time has come to hand over to someone else to take up the challenge and for me to seek new challenges and opportunities elsewhere. My immediate priority is to continue to run the business, to deliver the best possible performance for 2012.”
Trinity said that by December Bailey will have served almost 10 years with the company and had ‘led it through the worst and longest economic downturn the country has seen”.
‘Despite the challenging environment the actions she has taken, together with her team, have ensured the company has consistently delivered robust profits,’it said.
‘Importantly, Sly has also established the basis of a digital strategy for the group going forward. The group will now publicly start the search for her successor.”
Trinity Mirror is the UK’s biggest regional newspaper publisher and also owns the Mirror national titles, the Daily Record and the Sunday Mail.
Earlier this year it reported a 40 per cent fall in operating profit to £92.4m on revenue down 2 per cent to £747m in the 2011 financial year.
Its nationals division saw revenue fall 1.7 per cent £453m and operating profit drop 12 per cent to £83.1m, while operating profit at its regional press division fell 16 per cent to £36.5m on revenue down 2.3 per cent to £293.6m.
There has been speculation over Bailey’s future at the company since shareholders began voicing concerns over her pay package earlier this year.
In total Bailey was paid £1.3m in cash, shares and pension contributions in 2011, down from £1.7m in 2010.
Trinity’s remuneration board recently proposed Bailey’s maximum potential annual cash bonus be cut from 110 per cent of her base salary to 55 per cent, but some shareholders were still unhappy.
When she joined the company in February 2003 Trinity’s share price stood at 390p with a market capitalisation of £1.1bn – today’s its share price is just 32.3p, valuing it at just £83.1 million.