Lonely Planet names MD

Lonely Planet, owned by BBC Worldwide, has appointed Douglas Schatz to be its managing director EMEA.

He replaces the position left vacant by Stephen Palmer, who transferred to become head of print in Australia.

Schatz joins the business in January and reports to CEO Matt Goldberg. The company’s marketing director remains Shona Gold.

He will be responsible for leading the company’s European business and delivering the strategy for print and digital expansion, as it develops into a multimedia organisation. A key area of focus will be on growing audiences from core independent travellers to a wider demographic across print, digital and emerging platforms.

Schatz joins Lonely Planet from Stanfords, the UK’s leading specialist retailer of travel books and map data, where he was managing director for more than ten years.

In his time at Stanfords he led all business and brand operations and was responsible for expanding and diversifying the retail business, launching Stanfords online, and driving the digital strategy in the professional land and property market. He was also responsible for publishing Stanfords own-branded travel books, maps and stationery.

He has extensive operational management experience across high profile retail, e-commerce and B2B mapping businesses.

BBC Worldwide has drawn criticism for the extent of some of its commercial ventures, including the acquisition of Lonely Planet for £89m in 2007.

Thy BBC Trust recently sanctioned the acquisition but said it was unlikely BBC Worldwide would be allowed to pursue such an acquisition again.

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