Former FT marketer to join Friends Reunited

Friends Reunited, the website which puts people in touch with old school friends, has appointed Tim Ward as its first marketing director, following his departure from the newly relaunched Financial Times (MW May 8).

The move sees Ward reunited with the website’s chief operating officer, former FT chief operating officer Michael Murphy. Murphy left the FT after a failed bid to buy FT Business, which publishes Investors Chronicle and The Banker.

Ward, who takes up his new post in the summer, will oversee the launch of a new dating agency in June, as well as look after the core school reunion website and genealogy website Genes Connected.

At the FT, Ward was in charge of a £2m marketing campaign, involving a return to TV advertising to promote the paper’s relaunch following a decline in sales. Before being recruited to the FT in May 2002, Ward worked at Vodafone.

Friends Reunited was set up by husband-and-wife team Stephen and Julie Pankhurst in 2000, and run from their North London home. Despite speculation about a possible sale, the couple opted for a management buy-in with Murphy.The site claims to have over 8.5 million members and up to 9 million hits a day.

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