Virgin Net director to spearhead expansion

Virgin Net, the online entertainment guide and shopping service, has appointed a managing director to oversee its expansion of brand choice and shopping incentives.

Alex Heath, who joined the Virgin Group after spending two years as chief executive of Interactive Investor International (iii.co.uk), the personal finance portal, takes up his post on September 1.

Heath will be responsible for running the new yet-to-be-named business, which Virgin says will launch before the end of the year.

He will spearhead a drive to expand the site, which already offers consumers a range of goods including books, CDs, computers, sports and leisure equipment as well as banking and travel services.

For the past six months Heath has been developing a new value-added electronic shopping service – similar to loyalty card schemes – which is on trial with a selection of Virgin staff.

Virgin Group strategy director Gordon McCallum says: “Heath is joining Virgin Net at a particularly exciting time. Virgin Net is established as one of the UK’s leading entertainment and leisure sites.”

Virgin Net launched in November 1996 and attracts more than 15 million page impressions a month.

The company, which uses advertising agency Archibald Ingall Stretton for its above-the-line work, is rolling out banner ads on selected Virgin Net sites through Incline over the next few weeks.

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