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DLG appoints Friends Reunited CEO

DLG appoints Friends Reunited CEO

Leading UK lifestyle data provider DLG has announced the appointment of Michael Murphy, CEO of Friends Reunited and former Chief Operating Officer at the Financial Times, as its new non-executive Chairman following its recent refinancing through Kaupthing Capital Partners.

Murphy brings with him a wealth of experience in leading major UK companies, having been Chief Operating Officer at the Financial Times, Managing Director at FT Business and Chief Operating Officer at FT Internet Businesses.

After completing the management buy-in of Friends Reunited in January 2003, Michael Murphy grew the company into an internationally recognised brand, trebling profits within three years and increasing registered users to 21m in the UK (65% of all UK adults online). He successfully completed the £175m sale of Friends Reunited to ITV in December 2005.  

Murphy was senior independent non-executive director of Datamonitor from September 2003 to July 2007 when it was sold to Informa, and was non-executive director of Multimap between September 2006 and December 2007 when it was sold to Microsoft.  His experience of running businesses in the highly relevant fields of digital marketing, advertising and publishing will be invaluable to the execution of DLG’s intended expansion plans. 

Jeremy Whitaker, CEO of DLG comments:  “It is fantastic that Michael has agreed to join the board at DLG. He brings with him very strong City credentials as well as significant experience in the digital environment from his stewardship of our partner Friends Reunited and from heading up FT Internet Businesses.”

Michael Murphy added, “I am delighted to be joining at such an exciting time in DLG’s development.  They have achieved extraordinary growth within a very short period of time, and demonstrated great talent and great strength of product.  However there is real opportunity to further enhance and build on this success, especially in the digital arena, and I have no doubt of the enormous future potential. I look forward to meeting the challenges that lie ahead.”

The news of Murphy’s appointment comes in the wake of the refinancing of DLG’s business in 2007 which saw the company triple in value in just 18 months after a prolific series of acquisitions.

His remit will be to align DLG with the digital convergence evolution by overseeing the development of new products and services, to enhance its market position through future acquisitions and to drive business strategy forward with the objective of placing DLG as the primary consumer data hub in the UK. 

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