Abrupt departure for PPA chief Shephard

The chief executive of magazine industry trade body the PPA abruptly left the organisation yesterday after just over a year in the job.

The PPA announced that Jonathan Shephard was stepping down “with immediate effect”. No successor is in the frame to replace him and Press Gazette understands the search for a new chief executive of the body is now underway.

PPA chairman Peter Phippen said: “Over the past few weeks Jonathan and I have been discussing the best way forward for PPA. It is felt that PPA’s next phase of development should be conducted under a new chief executive.

“We are now beginning the process of selecting a CEO to take forward the important work of one of the UK’s most successful trade bodies.”

The PPA declined to elaborate further on the reasons for Shephard’s departure beyond this brief statement released last night.

Shephard joined the PPA from the Independent Schools Council in April last year and presided over a period of upheaval for the organisation.

He brought in a number of new senior faces at the PPA, several from his old organisation, including chief operating office Sarah Tunstall who was previously managing director of the Independent Schools Council.

In September, following a review by Shephard, the posts of of director of marketing, commercial director, communications and marketing director and marketing communications manager were all made redundant – and four staff left the organisation.

According to the PPA’s statement, Tunstall will oversee the day-to-day management of the PPA until a new chief executive is found. Eric Verdon-Roe, previously managing director of Haymarket Media Group, has come in to act as a consultant to see the PPA through the transition period.

Shephard replaced Ian Locks who was chief executive of the PPA for 19 years.

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