Sanoma Independent Media has announced that Derk Sauer is to step down as chairman of the board of Vedomosti, the joint venture between Sanoma Independent Media, Pearson (Financial Times) and Dow Jones & Company (The Wall Street Journal).
Mr. Sauer, a prominent figure in the Russian media industry, was one of the founders of Independent Media (since renamed Sanoma Independent Media) in Moscow in 1992 and was instrumental in launching Vedomosti as a joint venture in 1999. He has served as chairman of the Vedomosti board since that time, and under his leadership, the Russian business daily has grown to a daily national circulation over 70,000, including a successful online paid subscription business, and a staff of more than 300.
Mr. Sauer will continue in his current role as chairman of the supervisory board of Sanoma Independent Media.
Ben Hughes, global commercial director and deputy CEO of The Financial Times and a Vedomosti board member for the past 13 years, said, "On behalf of the FT, I'd like to thank Derk for his outstanding contribution over many years."
Kelly Leach, managing director for Dow Jones in EMEA and publisher of The Wall Street Journal in Europe added, "Derk has been the guiding light in Vedomosti's establishment and growth, and we are privileged to have benefitted from his knowledge and dedication over the past 13 years. All three shareholders remain highly committed to Vedomosti and the work that Derk has done, supporting its development, growth and independence in Russia."
Ms. Leach will replace Mr. Sauer as chairman, effective from February 11. Ms. Leach joined the board in 2012.
And in a sign that Sanoma remains committed to its Russian interests, the company has named a key executive to the board. Heike Rosener, CEO of Sanoma Media Russia & CEE, will replace Mr. Sauer.
Ms. Rosener added, "We all owe Derk an enormous debt of gratitude for his tireless service to Vedomosti. Its ongoing success is testament to his unwavering vision and commitment, and we look forward to building further on what he has achieved."
In addition, Tas Viglatzis, chief financial officer of the Financial Times, will replace former board member Scott Henderson, who stepped down from his role this month. John Galvin of Dow Jones & Company remains as the sixth board member.