Bradford quits as Emap manager

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The Independent Online

The Beleaguered publishing group Emap, which is owned by Guardian Media Group (GMG) and the private equity company Apax Partners, has been hit by the departure of one of its senior managers, after just a year.

Neil Bradford, who was co-chief executive of Emap Data and Insight, has quit the group. This comes a week after it emerged that Apax had written its investment in Emap down to zero.

The chief executive, David Gilbertson, confirmed that Mr Bradford had left to pursue interests in the private equity industry. Mr Gilbertson has taken over his duties, and is reviewing the role and whether to appoint a replacement. The Data and Insight Business, which is one of four divisions at Emap, provides research and analysis for its clients.

Mr Bradford was appointed last year to head Emap's online fashion site, The World Global Style Network was set up by Marc and Julian Worth in 1997 and bought by Emap in 2005 for £140m. The site generated £35m last year through its subscription model, and proved one of the standout performers in Emap's business-to-business division.

The co-chief executive Rupert Keane, responsible for the rest of the division, remains at the company.

Mr Bradford worked as a consultant for McKinsey before setting up his own company, Fletcher Research, in 1997. He followed the business when it was bought by Forrester, leaving to set up the IT group OrderWork in 2006.

Emap has suffered in the downturn in line with much of the media industry. The group has cut jobs and seen the value of its portfolio plunge. Apax and GMG bought the group, which was the original Emap's business-to-business arm, for £1bn less than two years ago.

Apax has written down its investment in Emap to nothing, the buyout firm told investors earlier this year. Private equity companies regularly have to value their assets at current market value, even if they have no intention of selling. Mr Gilbertson said the valuation had no bearing on the company. "It simply observes the value if the investors were to sell up now, which is not the case. Both investors remain very supportive."

"The change in market valuation is a reflection of what has happened externally. We actually grew profitability last year," he added.