The Daily Mail and General Trust, parent company of tabloid newspaper The Daily Mail, has appointed BCG partner Paul Zwillenberg as its new CEO. Zwillenberg will be tasked with further expanding the company’s online presence, as well as manage the firm’s wider business portfolio, including its transformation to a more digital operating model.
The Daily Mail was founded in 1896 by Brothers Alfred and Harold Harmsworth. Today it is presided over by Chairman Jonathan Harmsworth (Lord Rothermere). In 1922 the Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT) was founded to manage the family's newspapers interests. The conservative slanted tabloid newspaper gained a keen readership of both middle and working class readers, and, since the launch of its digital copy, took the throne of the most read online newspaper in 2011 from the New York Times. Today the Daily Mail Online has around 70 million unique browser hits per month.
DMGT has, over the years, diversified its business from merely that of print copy. In 1988 the company expanded its portfolio to include DMG Events, to manage and develop a portfolio of events, while in 1990 DMG Information was founded, to manage and develop a portfolio of business-to-business information companies. DMGT, which has revenues of around £2 billion across all of its businesses, also has stakes in several ventures. DMGT was listed in 1932 on the London exchange; however the family three years ago (2013) bought back all of the voting shares.
Martin Morgan, the current CEO of DMGT, recently announced his departure after 27 years at the top of the Trust. Under Morgan’s spell, DMGT grew into the giant which it is today, and more recently, transformed the print side of its publishing business to the new online reality, with the website now the most uniquely visited daily in the UK. Remarking on Morgan’s depart, Rothermere, says: “DMGT owes Martin a debt of gratitude for his 27 years’ service and his leadership of the group’s transformation.”
To replace Morgan, Rothermere has called in university friend, and briefly a former colleague: Paul Zwillenberg. Zwillenberg takes on the CEO position, tasked with further expanding DMGT’s digital presence as falling print circulations continue to drag on its Daily Mail business’ profits, as well as manage the Trust’s wider portfolio of businesses. In his new role at the helm of DMGT, Zwillenberg will further aim at growing the B2B portfolio, delivering high quality consumer media content, and expanding into high growth markets, as well as implementing a range of strategic transformations aimed at bolstering the agility of the firm’s internal operations.
Zwillenberg has considerable experience within the digital media space. Since 2010 Zwillenberg has worked at The Boston Consulting Group as a Senior Partner, where he, based in London, headed the consultancies’ Media practice globally, and previously served as Regional Leader for the Technology, Media and Telecommunications Practice. He previously worked for OC&C Strategy Consultants for eight years since 2002, in his last role as a Partner. Prior to joining the consulting industry, Zwillenberg worked in the media sector, having, among others, set up the digital division of DMG Media (formerly Associated Newspapers digital) in 1996.
Paul Zwillenberg completed a Bachelor of Arts in History from Duke University; where he met Rothermere. “Paul’s strategic insight and close involvement across our portfolio over the last 20 years means that he is ideal for the role at this exciting time for our diversified businesses,” says the Chairman.