By Rory Murphy
Mail Online editor-in-chief and chief executive Martin Clarke, pictured above, is stepping down after 12 years building the website into one of the biggest in the world.
A controversial figure when he edited the Daily Record in Scotland, Clarke who also holds the role of publisher at DMG Media, relaunched Mail Online in 2008. It now reaches about 23m people per month in the UK, according to industry metric Ipsos Iris.
Mail Online has also established itself as a household name in the United States, where it is known as DailyMail.com and regularly ranks alongside the country’s largest news websites.
Clarke said he wanted to leave to “pursue new challenges” and DMG owner Lord Rothermere said he had “reluctantly” accepted his resignation.
Clarke said he will “remain available” to the company until the end of 2022 and will help in the search for his replacement as editor.
His remit covering digital revenues, platform and product will pass to DMG Media’s new chief executive Richard Caccappolo.
“I would like to take this opportunity to express my eternal gratitude to Lord Rothermere and Paul Dacre – and their predecessors – for affording me such a fantastic career with DMG Media and for the privilege of having worked for the best newspapers in the world,” Clarke said.“I would also like to thank the thousands of dedicated and talented Mail Online staff – past and present – who have made the website such a unique worldwide phenomenon.
“It gives me great satisfaction that so many websites in the UK, US and Australia have Mail Online alumni in top positions.“At its heart the Daily Mail treasures great journalists and journalism and it has been an honour to work with so many talented, hard-working and committed people. “This has been a once-in-a-lifetime ride and there is simply no other job with DMG Media I would rather have.
“I wish everyone in the company all the very best for the future and know that it will remain a haven for people who love the business of journalism.”
News of Clarke’s departure comes after a rollercoaster few weeks at DMGT, which Lord Rothermere is preparing to take private. Editor-in-chief Dacre left, seemingly to pursue a role as chairman of broadcast regulator Ofcom. Daily Mail editor Geordie Greig was suddenly ousted and replaced by Mail on Sunday editor Ted Verity. And then Dacre ditched his Ofcom dreams and returned.
In addition, DMG Media chief executive Kevin Beatty announced his plan to step down. Mail Online chief operating officer Caccappolo replaced Beatty while DMGT’s deputy chief financial officer James Welsh is now deputy chief executive.
However, Clarke had already indicated his plan to leave to Lord Rothermere earlier this year.
Lord Rothermere said: “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.
“The Daily Mail is great because of the hard work of many not just the few.
“Martin leaves behind him a legacy of an impressive number of highly talented and committed people across the company who will continue to build upon what he has created and keep the Daily Mail a huge success across the globe.
“I wish him the best of luck with his future endeavours and very much hope that we continue to be in partnership on future projects.”
Clarke first joined the Daily Mail in 1987, working on the news, picture and feature desks under Sir David English. He was appointed editor of the Scottish Daily Mail by Paul Dacre in 1995 ahead of stints at The Scotsman as editor in 1997 and the Daily Record and Sunday Mail as editor-in-chief in 1999.
He returned to DMGT in 2001 as Ireland on Sunday editor, became Mail on Sunday executive editor in 2003 and took the same role at the daily paper in 2005. He also launched the London Lite newspaper, which lasted for five years, in 2006.
Clarke has reigned at Mail Online since 2008 and was given the additional job of DMG Media publisher, which covers the Mail, Metro and now also the i titles, in 2018.
Top: Picture of the front page of the Daily Record, once edited by Martin Clarke