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Daily Mail chief executive Paul Zwillenberg is stepping down from the company as proprietor Lord Rothermere shores up control after a take-private deal earlier this year.

Mr Zwillenberg will step down as chief executive and board director of Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT) at the end of September after more than six years in the role.

His departure comes after a deal earlier this year that saw the media empire returned to the control of Lord Rothermere, who will now take over as chairman and chief executive.

In a memo to staff, Mr Zwillenberg said: “An inevitable consequence of the strategy we put in place six and a half years ago, if it was successful, was that I would work myself out of a job.

“Now, with our companies all leaders in their respective markets, with great teams in place and exciting opportunities ahead, I have decided that the time is right to step down.”

During his tenure, Mr Zwillenberg oversaw a break-up of DMGT that refocused the business around its best-known tabloid newspaper.

The group sold off assets including financial information provider Euromoney and insurance business RMS, as well as its stake in property website Zoopla.

Its ventures division also invested in online car dealership Cazoo – a deal that handed a windfall to investors and was used to finance part of the take-private deal.

At the same time, DMGT consolidated its presence in news publications, buying up titles including the i newspaper and the New Scientist magazine.

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