Independent News & Media (INM) has appointed Murdoch MacLennan as chairman to replace Leslie Buckley, who stepped down last week.
Mr MacLennan, who is also the deputy chairman of the Telegraph Media group and was its chief executive, was among four new non-executive directors appointed to INM’s board last week at an egm in Dublin.
Immediately following news of Mr Buckley's departure in January, major shareholder Denis O'Brien's other board nominee, Paul Connolly, was considered a contender for the role. INM's flagship title the Irish Independent, had even for a time reported on its website that Mr Connolly was taking over as "interim chairman", until the reference was later deleted, .
Ultimately, however, INM chose instead to appoint an independent chairman. Any such appointment of Mr Connolly would have immediately put the company at odds with corporate governance guidelines, which state a chairman should be independent upon appointment.
Mr MacLennan will be tasked with stewarding the board out of an especially turbulent period for INM, which was sparked by Mr Buckley's falling out with former chief executive, Robert Pitt, and a subsequent and ongoing investigation into INM by the Director of Corporate Enforcement.