The Independent promotes digital head Zach Leonard to chief exec

The Independent has promoted Zach Leonard to chief exec

The Independent Digital News & Media (IDNML) has promoted its digital head, Zach Leonard to chief executive as the online newspaper looks to amplify its audience beyond the UK.

As chief exec, he will focus his attentions on the continued expansion of the digital title, with emphasis on its burgeoning North America market.

He has also been tasked with building on its advertising, licensing and syndication and reader revenue lines, including foreign language licensing that covers the launch of Arabic, Turkish, Urdu and Farsi licensed sites earlier this year.

Leonard first joined The Independent and The Evening Standard in 2010 as managing director of digital. During this time, he was responsible for its digital strategy, where he drove record audience and revenue growth for the two titles' digital channels.

After the newspaper ceased print in 2016 and after the sale of The i newspaper to Johnston Press, Leonard led the business transformation as it became digital-only.

Prior to that, he was managing director of News International-owned, graduate recruitment website Milkround. He was promoted from his role as digital strategy and development after nine months.

He has also done stints at Accenture, where he lead UK publishing practice and The Financial Times, where he was managing director, chief operations officers for two-and-a-half years.

Leonard's appointment follows a string of key hires for the online-only newspaper. Back in May, Andy Morley took on the role of chief digital revenue officer, while Blair Tapper took on the role of senior vice-president, US in October.

On Leonard's promotion to chief exec, Evgeny Lebedev, owner of IDNML, commented: "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. I am confident that his new position will allow him to continue innovating and take us even further."

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