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The Independent Steve Auckland Evgeny Lebedev

ESI Media CEO Steve Auckland steps down following Independent’s print closure


By Jessica Goodfellow, Media Reporter

April 25, 2016 | 2 min read

Steve Auckland, the group chief executive of ESI Media, parent company of the Independent, London Evening Standard and London Live, is to step down after just under 18 months in his position.

Auckland’s departure comes a month after ESI Media sold the i to Johnston Press and closed its print editions of the Independent and Independent on Sunday.

ESI Media has appointed group chief financial officer Manish Malhotra as group managing director on an interim basis, reporting to company chairman Justin Byam Shaw.

“ESI Media has undergone some substantial changes in the last 18 months, including the sale of the i newspaper and the move of the Independent and Independent on Sunday titles to a digital-only format,” said Evgeny Lebedev, owner of ESI Media. “Steve has made an enormous contribution by steering the group through these changes and into a strong position for the future.”

Auckland took up his role at ESI Media in October 2014. Previously he served as managing director of Metro UK.

“‘I’ve enjoyed my brief but hectic stint at ESI Media,” said Auckland. “With the successful sale of i to Johnston Press, including a long-term syndication agreement, it’s a fitting time for me to move on. I’m leaving the business on a sounder financial footing.”

The Independent Steve Auckland Evgeny Lebedev

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