The boss of Johnston Press’s Scottish division has left the business as part of a series of management changes across the regional publisher.
Andrew Richardson, managing director of The Scotsman Publications Ltd for the past two years and boss of JP’s Scottish operation since last February, is being replaced by Stuart Birkett, who until now has headed up the company’s North East division.
Andrew joined JP as a business development manager in 2007 having previously worked for biscuit maker McVitie’s and drinks giant Diageo.
News of his departure was announced in an email to staff this morning by chief executive Ashley Highfield which also outlined a series of other management changes.
Taking over in Sunderland will be Stephen Plews, currently managing director of the group’s Scarborough and East Yorkshire operations, while Stephen’s role will be merged into that of West Yorkshire MD Helen Oldham.
Wrote Ashley: “We have today informed the Scotland Publishing Unit staff that Andrew Richardson is leaving his position as managing director for the Scotland Publishing Unit.
“Andrew has been within the company for over 5 years and has held the role of MD for the last 2 and a half years. We wish Andrew well for the future and thank him for his significant contribution to the business.”
Other existing divisional MDs including John Bills (South Yorkshire and North Midlands), Gary Fearon (North West), Richard Parkinson (South and East Midlands) and Karl Dimmock (South) remain in their positions.
Johnston Press has refused to comment further on the announcement.
Rumours of Andrew’s departure began to circulate yesterday after being announced prematurely in a Tweet by former Scotsman editor John McLellan.
He later added: “It seems staff only learnt the news from my tweet. Sorry I mucked up tomorrow’s announcement. That’s social media for you.”