Gavin O’Reilly has resigned from his position as group CEO of Independent News & Media, it was widely reported today. According to the Guardian, he has had a long-running dispute with the company’s biggest shareholder, Denis O’Brien, who has a 22% stake in the company, compared to the O’Reilly family’s 13%.
“After 19 eventful years with the company, it is time for me to pursue new opportunities. It had become clear that recent and public shareholder tensions were proving an unnecessary distraction for both me and the company and this was not in the best interests of the company," O'Reilly is quoted in the Irish Independent as saying.
Sir Anthony O’Reilly, Gavin’s father, acquired the Irish Independent in 1973 and as CCO he built up an international newspaper group with papers in the UK, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
Gavin O’Reilly took over as CEO in May 2009, as part of a deal with O’Brien to change the company’s strategy. INM’s London-based papers, the Independent and Independent on Sunday, both loss-making, were sold to Alexander Lebedev in early 2010 to reduce the company’s massive debt.
O’Reilly will be replace by Vincent Crowley, chief operations officer of the group.