Fox is Trinity Mirror's new chief

Departing HMV boss Simon Fox is the surprise new chief executive of troubled newspaper group Trinity Mirror, which will pay him about a third less than his controversial predecessor, Sly Bailey.

Trinity chairman David Grigson played down fears that Mr Fox has little experience of papers and that his troubled, six-year reign at HMV made him ill-suited to take charge of the Daily Mirror owner.

Speaking to The Independent, Mr Grigson hailed Mr Fox as "someone with the intellect and intellectual curiosity to think through how we move forward in the digital age and how consumers will consume news".

The Trinity chairman also pointed to Mr Fox's spell as a non-executive director of Guardian Media Group.

"It helped him to understand that it's a very interesting business," he said.

Mr Grigson added that Mr Fox has "a phenomenal ability to engage people and bring them along with him".

Trinity shares jumped nearly 5 per cent to 38.5p.

Mr Fox's appointment is a personal coup as it comes just a month after he resigned from the loss-making music retailer.

He will earn a base salary of £500,000 in contrast to Ms Bailey's £750,000. However, his annual package could be worth as much as £2m if he hits short-term bonus targets, worth 75 per cent of salary, and long-term targets, which are worth another 144 per cent.

Mr Fox also receives £600,000 of shares immediately, subject to "significant growth in the share price".

Mr Grigson dismissed suggestions it was a "golden hello", noting that Mr Fox was giving up a potential pay-off of close to £500,000 from HMV.

He added Mr Fox would be better incentivised than Ms Bailey as "a higher proportion of his pay is more directly connected to the share price".

She quit in the face of a shareholder revolt over her pay as debt-laden Trinity's shares crashed by more than 90 per cent and it was dumped from the FTSE 250.