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Can Guardian Media Group survive change at the top?

It’s all change at The Guardian Media Group. Not only has it recently lost CEO David Pemsel, but the company is now looking for a new chief revenue officer, following the departure of Hamish Nicklin for Dentsu Aegis Network.

Pemsel left for the Premier League but, thanks to sexting issues, never made it into the job. He’s been replaced at The Guardian by Annette Thomas, who has a background in academic publishing.

Meanwhile Nicklin’s replacement hasn’t yet been secured, and he will be a hard act to follow: he was constantly out and about in media land and was apparently a very popular figure internally too. The Guardian has recently been making modest money after a long period of losses, thanks to cost-cutting and editor Kath Viner’s voluntary subscription model — and Nicklin’s nous will have had a role in that too.

Nicklin, who has also worked at Google and AOL, will be a class addition to Dentsu Aegis, where things have been similarly unsettled of late. His role is to grow the commercial side of the group’s media business and oversee the development of five agency brands: Amplifi, Carat, dentsu X, iProspect, and Vizeum.

Euan Jarvie, CEO, Dentsu Aegis Network UK & Ireland said: “Hamish is a truly creative business leader with a reputation built on an ability to maximise the opportunities for sustainable growth. He has also showcased a real understanding of how digital is transforming our industry and how that can be leveraged to build lasting partnerships.”

Nicklin, whose new role is executive director, media & performance, said: “Our industry finds itself in a challenging but hugely exciting period of change. I have been consistently impressed with the way that Dentsu Aegis Network has reacted to those changes and altered the way it operates accordingly.”

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