Zach Leonard moves to lead Independent following Mike Soutar hire

Digital MD of Evening Standard and Independent named chief executive of latter.

Leonard: working closely with Independent chairman John Paton
Leonard: working closely with Independent chairman John Paton

ESI Media, owner of the Evening Standard and The Independent, which is now digital only, has rejigged its management following the appointment of Mike Soutar as chief executive of the Standard last month.

Zach Leonard, who had been digital managing director across both titles since 2010, has been named chief executive of Independent Digital News & Media Ltd.

Leonard is tasked with expanding the business, particularly in its largest market of North America and in relation to its advertising, licensing, syndication and reader revenue lines, following the launch of Arabic, Turkish, Urdu and Farsi licensed sites earlier this year. Leonard is working closely with John Paton, who was recently appointed chairman of IDNML

Evgeny Lebedev, owner of IDNML, said: "Zach has been an integral part of The Independent as it has become a leading digital news title in the UK, US and across the world."
The announcement credited Leonard with leading the business transformation of IDNML in 2016, following the closure of The Independent newspaper and sale of i to Johnston Press.

Leonard said: "It has been a tremendous privilege to lead The Independent’s digital transformation so far. I look forward to extending the brand’s influence and commercial success in new territories, languages and channels in years to come." 

Recent significant IDNML hires include Andy Morley as chief digital revenue officer and Blair Tapper as senior vice-president of North America.

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