Allwood on board in Telegraph shake-up

Allwood: “extensive experience”

The Barclay brothers have begun a major management restructure at the Telegraph Group with the departures of managing director Hugo Drayton and finance director Niamh O’Donnell on Tuesday.

The move came days after the appointment of John Allwood to the new position of executive director.

The company declined to reveal further details about the changes – and even senior insiders said they did not know what was going on.

Drayton joined the Telegraph in 1994 as marketing manager. He oversaw the launch of Telegraph.co.uk – the UK’s first national newspaper website. Drayton was made managing director of Telegraph Group last year.

Allwood, who is executive vice president of Orange UK, is understood to have a role covering both the commercial and editorial sides of the business.

Agency Brown Lloyd James handled the announcement, rather than the Telegraph’s in-house PR team. It declined to reveal any information other than that contained in a short press release.

The newspaper’s NUJ chapel has not yet been informed of what Allwood’s role entails.

One Telegraph insider said: “I don’t think we have had an executive director before – it could mean anything or nothing. It does seem odd that they are not telling anybody.”

The appointment was made just two weeks after former Associated Newspapers chief executive Murdoch MacLennan was made chief executive of Telegraph Group.

In a statement, MacLennan said: “John has one of the best newspaper business brains around. He has extensive experience across the media.”

Allwood has been with mobile telecoms company Orange since 2000 and previously held senior positions at News International, Sky Television andMirror Group.

He spent 11 years at News International, rising to finance director in charge of all Rupert Murdoch’s Wapping-based papers. He joined Mirror Group as finance director in 1992, becoming chief executive of Mirror Group Newspapers in 1999.

By Dominic Ponsford

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