Sir Anthony O’Reilly is to step down as chief executive of Independent News & Media (INM) and will be replaced by his son and the newspaper group’s current chief operating officer Gavin O’Reilly.
Sir Anthony will retire as CEO and as a director of the board of INM, which owns The Independent, Independent on Sunday and The Irish Times newspapers, in May after 36 years at the company.
He is also the group’s largest shareholder with a 28.5% share in the company.
The decision brings to an end the fractious relationship with fellow shareholder Denis O’Brien, who has been critical of O’Reilly’s handling of the company.
O’Reilly joined INM in 1993 and worked in various executive roles before taking up his current position in 2001.
The announcements come a few months after it was reported that INM is considering selling some of its assets, including selling off The Independent, to pay off some of its reported €1.4bn debt.
The group announced last November it is to restructure its business, with the loss of up to 90 jobs, as it looks to cut costs in the wake of the slump in the advertising market.
The Independent newspaper’s average net circulation continues to slide, down 4.43 per cent in February on January to 205,964, according to ABC.