James Murdoch has reshuffled the top executives at News International following the departure of former executive chairman Les Hinton to head up the Wall Street Journal in December.
Murdoch heads up News Corporation‘s businesses in Europe and Asia.
He has promoted Clive Milner to chief operating officer – with accountability for all operations including manufacturing, technology, distribution, procurement and facilities.
Milner was appointed group managing director, newspaper division, News International Limited in January 2004. He had been Managing Director of Times Newspapers Limited since December 2001 and before that was managing director of News Group Newspapers since August 1999.
Paul Hayes has been made managing director, commercial, leading a combined advertising operation across News International. He was made managing director, Times Newspapers Ltd, in July 2005. Hayes rejoined News International in 2000 as general manager, Times Newspapers Ltd, after 11 years at the Telegraph Group.
Mike Anderson will become managing director, digital and development. He joined News International in December 2005 as managing director, News Group Newspapers and was previously at Associated Newspapers where he was managing director of the Evening Standard.
James Murdoch, chairman and chief executive, Europe and Asia, News Corporation, said: “These appointments will streamline and strengthen our management team and will bring us closer to our readers and advertisers, creating greater benefits for both. The new management structure is an essential first step in delivering the changes required to further develop our market leading titles and set the pace for the industry.”
The reshuffle follows moves by News International to scotch rumours that it was considering closing its free London daily thelondonpaper.
A spokesman said: ‘thelondonpaper has established itself as the capital’s leading afternoon paper with an audited daily circulation of over 500,000 and strong advertising revenue. News International, the UK’s largest national newspaper company, has backed its confidence in the long-term future of the industry with a recent £650 million investment in next generation print plants. We intend to build on the success of our market leading national titles and that of thelondonpaper in the years ahead.”