Tracy De Groose stands down as executive chair of Newsworks
Newsworks' executive chair Tracy De Groose is to step down this September, with Jo Allan appointed managing director to lead the national newsbrand marketing body in her place.
De Groose, who ran Dentsu Aegis Network from 2014 until October 2017 and was responsible for more than £1bn a year in adspend, joined Newsworks two years ago to champion and facilitate industry-wide change, as well as "tackle some infrastructure challenges".
Shortly after joining the marketing body, De Groose told Mediatel News that she wanted to change the narrative of decline around UK newsbrands, and that she was on a mission to "get the revenue that the [news] publishing industry deserves to invest in the future of journalism".
According to Newsworks, in her time at the helm De Groose has helped to drive "a more unified industry story" around premium publishers. She also led the recent 'Back Don't Block' campaign, in which UK news publishers called on advertisers to support journalism during the Covid-19 pandemic and help prevent the industry losing millions due to advertising 'blocklists'.
She steps down in order to concentrate on her portfolio of businesses, a spokesperson for the organisation said.
Moving forward, former interim MD Jo Allan – who was brought in last year by De Groose alongside a new senior leadership team – is to assume responsibility for leading the organisation as managing director.
Allan (pictured above) has experience working both client-side and agency-side, having held senior positions at brands including Cadbury and AB InBev, and at agencies including Carat, Dentsu Aegis Network and Vizeum.
More recently, she has worked as a consultant to ISBA, Newsworks and The Ozone Project. She took on the interim MD role at Newsworks in January.
“The industry is collaborating more than ever and this is really beginning to show with some impressive results," De Groose said.
“I have loved every minute of my time working with so many bright, talented and enthusiastic colleagues from across all publishers, and of course my own team. However, I feel now is the right time to hand over to a new industry leader who can carry on the transformation of this amazing sector and I wish Jo and the senior team all the best in taking the organisation to new heights.”
Allan added: “Having been involved with Newsworks as a consultant and as interim MD, I am excited to be appointed Managing Director with responsibility for leading the organisation.
"While the industry is experiencing enormous challenges due to the pandemic the audience it attracts continues to grow and there are enormous opportunities to be had from working together to promote the sector.”