The Independent appoints Christian Broughton as CEO

Christian Broughton has been appointed as the new Chief Executive of Independent Digital News & Media Limited. Following a global search process, Christian will assume the role of CEO from October, continuing an 11yr partnership with Zach Leonard, who will move from CEO to a new US-based role of Global Chief Operating Officer and President, North America, with specific focus on growing the US business.

The two appointments establish a leadership team for a fresh phase of global expansion, alongside Editor-in-Chief Geordie Greig (former editor of the Daily Mail) who was appointed at the start of this year.

“These key appointments along with our brilliant leadership in data, commercial, technology plus licensing and syndication will assure our successful global expansion,” said Chairman John Paton.

Christian joined The Independent in 2005 and has held pivotal roles spanning the editorial and commercial sides of the business, including Features Editor, Sports Editor and Assistant Editor. As Editor, from 2016 to 2020, he established The Independent’s position as the UK’s biggest quality digital news brand, and a leading US title.

In 2016, Christian and Zach took The Independent fully digital, as it became the only major global news publisher to move successfully from legacy media to fully digital news brand, while consistently profitable and debt-free with growing revenue since then.

Christian moved to the role of Managing Director three years ago to run The Independent’s Ventures arm, delivering innovative editorial and commercial projects with explosive growth and high margin, including business areas such as eCommerce and Independent TV, which has launched across multiple Connected TV platforms and published its first feature-length documentary, Bel Trew’s exploration of Ukraine’s victims of war, The Body in the Woods, with premieres in Kyiv and London.

Zach, who has led the company’s remarkable growth trajectory since 2010, will be relocating to the United States and assuming the position of Global COO and President, North America, where he will lead the audience and revenue growth for The Independent in the world’s largest and most competitive media market.

A third of The Independent’s workforce live and work outside of the UK, and the company is committed to unlocking its global potential.

“Christian is uniquely qualified to step up as Chief Executive as we continue to embark on the next phase of our global growth strategy, focusing global expansion and developing diversified revenue streams,” added Paton. “He brings a critical combination of journalistic nous and business acumen, having led our successful transition from national newspaper to global news platform, and more recently defining and driving forward our commercial strategy.”