He will take the reins of the media company, which also owns the London Live local TV channel and shares the same office building as Metro, from Andrew Mullins, who announced earlier this month he was leaving ESI to join business information group Informa.
Mullins was previously managing director of the Evening Standard and Independent Newspapers and CEO of London Live. The role has now been simplified to chief executive.
Auckland joins ESI in October.
He is a seasoned newspaper executive. Before re-joining Metro in December last year – having previously had a nine-year stint there that lasted until 2011 – he was group CEO of Local World, the regional media business. He also spent 21 years as managing director of the Yorkshire Post.
ESI says Auckland’s experience and leadership skills will cement the London Evening Standard as a multi-platform London media brand as well as making the transition “from print, to print and digital” with the Independent brands and build on the launch of London Live.
Evgeny Lebedev, owner of the Evening Standard, Independent and London Live, says: “We are ready to take our businesses to their next phase of growth and development and I am delighted to welcome Steve on board to drive this next phase for our brands. Steve’s track record is second to none and he will be a great leader of our businesses.”
Auckland will be replaced at Metro by Charlie Cox, who starts today as interim managing director of the DMG Media-owned newspaper brand. Cox set up DMGT’s commercial radio business in 1993, which was subsequently sold to GWR Group. He then left to join Carphone Warehouse but has continued to work on a range of projects with DMGT, most recently Metro Play.