Hugo Drayton departs in Telegraph shake-up

Hugo Drayton, the managing director of the Telegraph Group, is the first senior victim of management changes by the company's new owners, the Barclay brothers.

Drayton, along with the finance director, Niamh O'Donnell-Keenan, left the company on Tuesday, following the announcement that the former Mirror Group chief executive John Allwood is to join the Telegraph Group as its executive director.

Allwood, who is leaving his role as the executive vice-president of Orange after four years to take the Telegraph job, was brought in by Murdoch MacLennan, the recently appointed chief executive of the Telegraph Group.

He is expected to play a key role in a review of operations and the implementation of a strategy for the Group, in effect taking on the responsibilities of the managing director and finance director.

Drayton, who had spent ten years at the Telegraph Group, was promoted to managing director last November, having previously worked as the managing director of digital operations and as the marketing director.

Allwood, 53, has extensive newspaper experience. He has worked as a finance director at News International, and at the Mirror Group.

At the Mirror Group, he was appointed its finance director following Robert Maxwell's death. He eventually became its chief executive, leading it into a merger with the regional newspaper group Trinity.

He was made the deputy chief executive and chief operating officer of Trinity Mirror, but he left soon afterwards amid reports of a falling-out with its chief executive, Philip Graf.

MacLennan, who was once a colleague of Allwood's at the Mirror Group, said: "John has one of the best newspaper brains around. He has extensive experience across the media and we are delighted to have him on board."

Allwood joins MacLennan and the Telegraph Group chairman, Aidan Barclay, as a key member of the new-look management team.

Issues that might be up for assessment are investment in colour presses, the future of The Spectator and the format of The Daily Telegraph.

Further personnel changes among the management are a possibility, but the commercial director, Mark Payne, and the group sales director, Chris White-Smith, remain in their positions. White-Smith said: "We're a very successful, profitable business and all this is positive evolution."

- Perspective, p14.

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