Leslie Buckley to step down as chairman of INM

He will step down from his position at an EGM on March 1st

Leslie Buckley to step down as chairman of INM

Leslie Buckley pictured at the Independent News and Media Annual General Meeting in Dublin in 2013 | Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

The chairman of media group Independent News & Media (INM) is to step down from that position in March.

Leslie Buckley has informed the company of his decision.

Allan Marshall, non-executive director, will also retire from the board at an Extraordinary General Meeting in Dublin on March 1st.

INM has also announced the proposed appointment of four new non-executive directors - namely John Bateson, Fionnuala Duggan, Murdoch MacLennan and Seamus Taaffe - to its board.

INM says its board will convene an EGM to seek shareholder approval for these appointments. A circular and notice about the EGM will also be issued to shareholders in the coming weeks.

Mr Buckley was appointed chairman in 2012.

In a statement, Mr Buckley said: "I have taken the decision to retire from the board in March after five-and-a-half years as chairman.

"I would like to thank my board colleagues, the INM management team and all the great people who work for the company for their support during what has been an eventful and challenging time for both the company and for the Irish newspaper industry as a whole.

"I have great confidence in the company’s future and am delighted that Fionnuala, John, Murdoch and Seamus have agreed to join our board.

"All four bring an enviable record of experience and expertise in newspapers and publishing, digital and the wider corporate world which will strengthen INM’s board at a time when we are facing rapid change and exciting new developments in our industry."

The board of INM also thanked Mr Buckley for his leadership and contribution to the company.

It said: "Leslie has been a very strong leader of INM’s board during what has been a difficult and challenging period for the company at a time of great change in our industry.

"He has shown great fortitude and resilience in guiding the board during this time and leading INM’s strategic efforts to prepare for the challenges that lie ahead.

"We note in particular, the very strong financial base INM now has following his term as chairman.

"The financial restructuring led by Leslie in 2013 has cleared a legacy deficit in excess of €430m, to a position today, where the company has a cash surplus in excess of €90m".

Mr Buckley's successor as chairman will be announced shortly after the EGM.