O'Reilly to step down from Independent News & Media helm

Gavin O'Reilly appointed as new INM chief executive

Sir Anthony O'Reilly is to retire as the chief executive officer of Independent News & Media, having transformed a small local Irish newspaper business into a €1.5bn (£1.4bn) global communications company, it was announced yesterday.

For the past 36 years, Sir Anthony has been the strategic driving force behind INM, which publishes The Independent and The Independent on Sunday and has major media interests in Australia, Ireland, India, New Zealand and South Africa. He will step down from his position, and as a director of the INM board, on 7 May, his 73rd birthday.

Sir Anthony will be succeeded as chief executive by his son, Gavin O'Reilly, 42, who has been INM's chief operating officer for the past eight years. Gavin O'Reilly joined the group in 1993, has worked in various management roles and is president of the World Association of Newspapers, the industry representative body for the $200bn (£143bn) global newspaper industry.

Commenting on Sir Anthony's decision, the INM chairman, Brian Hillery, said: "Tony's retirement marks one of the most remarkable executive careers in Irish history. Tony has been a significant business leader for more than 45 years and has been a key figure in the making of modern Ireland."

When Sir Anthony made his first investment in local newspapers in 1973, the company had a turnover of €12m. INM's current operations span four continents and 22 countries, serving a combined audience of 100 million consumers every week.

The group, which employs about 9,600 people worldwide, publishes more than 200 newspaper and magazine titles, delivering a combined weekly circulation of 33 million copies, and includes the world's largest read newspaper, Dainik Jagran, in India.

Sir Anthony, who has been named president emeritus at INM, will continue to be the group's largest shareholder, with a 28.5 per cent stake. He said: "It has been more than three decades since I first became involved with Independent, and in that time it has been my pleasure to have worked with a range of highly talented and hugely committed directors and colleagues.

"My appreciation of them is undiminished by time. Together, we have expanded this Irish newspaper group and enshrined a fiercely independent editorial policy that is widely respected across the world. As the largest shareholder, I will continue to support their legacy and this wonderful group in the furtherance of its strategy."

The company also announced yesterday that the board of INM is being reduced from 17 to 10 directors, and the appointment of three new board members: Leslie Buckley, Paul Connolly and Lucy Gaffney. Denis O'Brien, the Irish telecoms billionaire, and second largest shareholder in INM with a 26 per cent stake, welcomed the news, which led to a sharp increase in the company's share price.

Sir Anthony was educated at University College Dublin and the Incorporated Law Society of Ireland. As the chief executive and then chairman of the HJ Heinz Company, he grew its market capitalisation from $900m to more than $15bn and became the first Irishman to lead a Fortune 500 company.

He has also served on the board of The Washington Post, General Electric, Mobil Corporation (now ExxonMobil), Bankers Trust, Eircom, Waterford Wedgwood and the New York Stock Exchange.

Sir Anthony's business career followed a successful period as a rugby player. He represented Ireland, the Barbarians and the British and Irish Lions. He still holds the record as the highest try scorer in the history of the Lions.

Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
Plenty to ponder: Amir Khan has had repeated problems with US immigration because of his Muslim faith and now American television may shun him
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Senior BA - Motor and Home Insurance

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...

Market Risk & Control Manager

Up to £100k or £450p/d: Saxton Leigh: My client is a leading commodities tradi...

SQL Developer - Watford/NW London - £320 - £330 p/d - 6 months

£320 - £330 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...

Head of Audit

To £75,000 + Pension + Benefits + Bonus: Saxton Leigh: My client is looking f...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments