Didier Brun, the chief executive of the Khaleej Times who oversaw last year's relaunch of the 30-year-old newspaper, departed on Thursday, according to the paper's parent company. The move comes a week after the company Mohie Patel, the vice president of advertising, also departed and a little more than a month after the newspaper's management dissolved its board of directors. "It is with sincere regret that we inform you that effective from 28th May 2009, Mr Didier Brun, currently CEO of Khaleej Times, Galadari Printing & Publishing, will be leaving our organisation," wrote Walid al Shehi, the group human resources manager of Galadari Brothers, in an e-mail to staff.
Mr Brun, the former senior vice president of strategy and development at the International Herald Tribune (IHT), oversaw the relaunch of the paper, including a redesign by a New York firm that has done work for The New York Times Magazine. Last May, the paper also announced a strategic alliance with IHT to print and distribute its newspaper in the UAE. Mr Brun declined to comment. Emirates Business 24/7 reported last month that management at the newspaper had dissolved its board of directors a year after it was appointed, claiming it had finished its work.
The board was appointed after the Investment Corporation of Dubai took a 30 per cent stake in the paper last year. An e-mail from the managing director of ICD to the board stated: "In order to simplify governance, it is felt that ICD's supervision of the Khaleej Times could be done by the parent board and therefore, we would like to dismantle the Khaleej Times board with immediate effect." Mr Patel believed the staff changes were a result of the board of the parent company, Galadari Brothers Group, reasserting control over the paper's leadership.
"The reason is that the old ICD board is gone and this new board feels that the old people are good enough and the new guys didn't do anything special," he said. "Overall, the old board is back." firstname.lastname@example.org