'Loaded' publisher IPC appoints new chief executive ahead of £1bn float

IPC group, the magazine publisher sold by Reed Elsevier for £860m last year, yesterday appointed Sly Bailey to the position of chief executive from 1 December, replacing Mike Matthew who is to retire.

IPC group, the magazine publisher sold by Reed Elsevier for £860m last year, yesterday appointed Sly Bailey to the position of chief executive from 1 December, replacing Mike Matthew who is to retire.

The move prefigures an eventual £1bn plus flotation of IPC within the next 12 to 24 months. "It seems to me to be crucially important that the chief executive running the company up to the flotation should continue there afterwards," said David Arculus, group chairman.

Ms Bailey's appointment, following that of Marjorie Scardino as chief executive of Pearson, the international media group, marks only the second time that a woman has been appointed to head a major UK media company. "I'm very happy to be joining that club," Ms Bailey said.

IPC, which publishes 94 magazines including "lad mag" Loaded and the woman's title Marie Claire, holds an estimated 22 per cent of the UK consumer magazine market. It also publishes respected niche titles, including Decanter and Yachting World.

Ms Bailey takes the top job after having run IPC tx, the division that publishes the company's television magazines, including TV Times. She also held over all responsibility for corporate advertisement sales.

"We have an enduring vision to build a world-class magazine group," said Ms Bailey. In the coming weeks, she plans to review the group operations, which encompass 94 titles, with particular focus on ensuring that "our brands are positioned to blossom in the digital world".

IPC has nine web sites which are attracting 20 million hits per month. It claims 1.6 million regular online users.

"[Sly] has been an outstandingly successful managing director of IPC tx, and has the breadth of experience to be a highly effective leader of the whole group," said Mr Arculus. The move coincides with the appointment of Linda Lancaster-Gaye, managing director of IPC Connect, the company's women's weekly publishing business, to the IPC Group board of directors.

Mr Matthew led IPC for seven years and was instrumental in organising its buyout from Reed. He will remain as non-executive deputy chairman.

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