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Martin Clarke resigns as Lord Rothermere’s online chief

·2-min read
Martin Clarke
Martin Clarke

Martin Clarke, the combative mastermind of MailOnline, has stepped down as the website’s editor and chief executive in the latest executive reshuffle at Lord Rothermere’s media empire.

Mr Clarke said he would leave in February, 35 years after first joining the Mail and after more than a decade in charge of one of the world’s biggest news sites.

His departure comes just weeks after Geordie Greig was ousted as editor of the Daily Mail in a move that had appeared to consolidate power around Mr Clarke and establish the Mail’s digital properties as the future of the group.

Lord Rothermere is seeking to push through an £885m takeover of DMGT, which is preparing to slash jobs following a steep rise in costs that has hit profits.

Mr Clarke, who is also publisher of DMG Media that owns the Metro, the i and New Scientist, said he “wanted to pursue new challenges”.

“Earlier this year I indicated to Lord Rothermere that, after 12 incredible years building MailOnline into one of the world’s biggest news websites and having established it as a substantially profitable business in its own right, I wanted to pursue new challenges,” he said.

Mr Clarke plans to “remain available” to the company next year as MailOnline seeks a new editor.

Lord Rothermere said: “I have had to reluctantly accept Martin's resignation as he is without doubt one of the greatest editors of his generation; and, I am eternally grateful to him for all his immense hard work and genius over the years.”

Mr Clarke’s exit is the latest in an ongoing reshuffle of DMGT’s top brass.

In October Paul Dacre, who edited the Daily Mail for just over a quarter of a century until 2018, quit as chairman and editor-in-chief of Associated Newspapers, the subsidiary that includes the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, i and Metro.

He was regarded as a leading candidate to chair Ofcom before pulling out of the race and returning as DMG Media’s editor-in-chief last month.

Shortly before that appointment, Mr Greig, who replaced Mr Dacre at the Mail, had been ousted. Ted Verity, the Mail on Sunday editor, is now in charge of both titles.

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