Saturday 16 December 2017

INM names James Osborne as new chair of media group

Maeve Dineen

James Osborne is to replace Brian Hillery as chairman of Independent News and Media (INM), the publisher of this newspaper.

Mr Hillery, aged 73, informed INM last November that he wished to retire after eight years on the board.

"After some recent challenging years for the company, I am happy that this appointment marks the beginning of a new chapter in its history and I wish James well in his new role," Mr Hillery said yesterday in a statement.

Mr Osborne, a former managing partner of A&L Goodbody Solicitors, is the current senior independent director at Ryanair Holdings. He is also a non-executive director of James Hardie Industries, and is chairman of Eason and Son Ltd, a private company.

Mr Osborne has also held non-executive directorships at Bank of Ireland, Golden Vale, Adare and Carrolls Holdings.

Commenting on his appointment, Mr Osborne said it was an "honour" to be elected as chairman of Ireland's largest and most successful media group.

"My predecessor Brian Hillery has successfully piloted the company with great resolve and commitment through some very difficult times.

Future growth

"He retires from a company that is leaner, more focused and better positioned for future growth," he said.

The appointment of Mr Osborne follows an independent search conducted by Lamarck Ltd, a specialist London-based search and advisory firm which has also done work for Bank of Ireland and Aer Lingus.

Mr Hillery stewarded the company through a difficult financial restructuring in 2009. At a recent EGM he was reappointed by shareholders by a majority of 99.9pc.

Yesterday INM chief executive Gavin O'Reilly said Mr Hillary had made a "valuable" contribution to the company.

"Brian dealt with the extraordinary events of 2009 with resolve, steely determination and fairness, and the company is now in a better position thanks to his efforts. I know all directors will join me in thanking him for his immense work," he said.

Irish Independent

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