Guardian Newspapers Limited has lured Marc Sands, one of the original launch team at ONDigital, to become the group's new marketing director.
The appointment follows the departure of Stephen Palmer, who left GNL after 13 years with the group to become marketing director of Emap Performance at the start of May.
Sands, who leaves a position as director of brand management at ONDigital, takes a place on the GNL board from which he will coordinate all marketing activity for the Guardian, the Observer and Guardian Unlimited. A former account director at HHCL & Partners, he joined Granada UK broadcasting as marketing director in 1997 before being transferred to oversee the launch of the Granada-backed cable TV provider in 1998.
"I'd turned down a lot of enquiries in the past," said Sands. "It was emotionally and professionally hard for me to leave ONDigital, but this offer was just too good to be true. I have been a Guardian and Observer reader all my life and the chance to make an impact on the papers and their brands is one I couldn't refuse."
Sands commented that there was room for growth in GNL's marketing operation. "It's been very strong but it could still be much better," he said. "At the moment the products are slightly stronger than the way they're marketed and that presents a great challenge."
"Marc is the perfect fit for us," said GNL managing director designate Carolyn McCall. "GNL is an award winning media company and it is vital that we appoint a marketing director with a dynamic marketing vision for the future."