The business on...Tom Toumazis, Chief executive, Mecom

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The Independent Online

An action man, we hear?

Yes, Tom Toumazis, who startedyesterday as the chief executive of the newspaper group Mecom, is an energetic sort of chap.

Between quitting Endemol and joining Mecom he spent several days hacking through the African jungle tracking Silverback gorillas.


And there's more. He put a London Marathon team together to raise cash for Childline – he was able to hand over a cheque for £75,000 as a result, and practised what he preached by running the 26 miles himself. The married father of three has also worked with the NSPCC.

Phew, I'm exhausted just reading about him

He's going to need that energy. Mecom's been in turmoil recently. His predecessor as chief executive, Ulsterman David Montgomery, had to retire after running into a spot of bother with rebel shareholders. Mecom, which published newspapers and operates websites across Europe, found it tough to find a suitable replacement.

So, is he an experienced newspaper man?

No. This is Mr Toumazis's first foray into the industry, though he did do a stint with the publisher Emap earlier in his career. It's been in the broadcast sector that he's enjoyed success. He joined Endemol, where he was chief commercial officer, from Disney, where he was a senior executive.

And does he ever relax?

He likes a round of golf, though he laments that his drive is not what it was: his son is able to outdistance him. He's also a bit of a movie buff and described Steven Spielberg as his hero in a recent tweet (he's active on Twitter). He got the chance to say hi to the A-list director at the premiere of J J Abrams movie Super 8. He's a big Arsenal fan too.

What sort of job awaits him?

He'll need to smooth some ruffled feathers among investors and restore order. Then it's down togetting on with the job of cutting debt and finding new ways to generate revenue and make the web work for his newspapers.