MailOnline’s publisher and founding editor Martin Clarke is stepping down, he announced Friday.
“Earlier this year I indicated to Lord Rothermere that, after 12 incredible years building MailOnline into one of the world’s biggest news websites and having established it as a substantially profitable business in its own right, I wanted to pursue new challenges,” wrote Clarke, who served as DMG Media publisher and CEO/editor-in-chief of MailOnline and DailyMail.com, in a statement.
He will officially exit the post at the end of February 2022. DMG Media CEO Rich Caccappolo will take over Clarke’s fiscal and product duties in due course, according to the statement.
Lord Rothermere, the British aristocrat who owns the Mail’s parent company, Daily Mail and General Trust, added in the press release: “I have had to reluctantly accept Martin's resignation as he is without doubt one of the greatest editors of his generation; and, I am eternally grateful to him for all his immense hard work and genius over the years.”
“This is a total bombshell,” a Mail insider told The Daily Beast. “Everybody thought Martin would be the de facto boss of the company. Ted [Verity, newly appointed Daily Mail editor] was going to work hand-in-hand with Martin. It was all about saving money. The paper and the website weren’t working together. We all thought Martin was the victor after Geordie Greig’s departure.”
Greig was ousted last month as editor of the Daily Mail, after just three years on the job, in what one source described to the Guardian as an alleged “power grab” by Clarke. Indeed, the personnel change was seen as a move to further merge the interests of the Mail newspaper with its massively successful MailOnline counterpart. Verity, the Mail on Sunday editor, is set to replace Greig.
Clarke’s departure, meanwhile, comes as Lord Rothermere seeks to take the company private by buying out other shareholders with cash, dividends, and shares offer.