Hindustan Times has appointed Nicholas Dawes, editor-in-chief of Mail and Guardian (M&G), a leading South African paper, its new Chief Editorial and Content Officer.

In a mail to his colleagues in M&G on Friday, Mr. Dawes said, “I have been offered a remarkable opportunity to help lead a process of change and growth at Hindustan Times.”

Responding to queries on the social media, he tweeted, “The HT role is a compelling challenge in one of the world’s biggest and most important media markets.” He said he would be working with the ‘existing team’ on a range of editorial quality projects.

Political columnist

Mr. Dawes is chairman of the South African National Editors’ Forum. He has been a political columnist, and public policy and economics editor.

He has also served as managing director of a digital communications agency, and was a Fulbright Scholar in a graduate school in the U.S. While he has travelled to India, he has not worked in the country.

Asked about the decision, HT group chairperson Shobhana Bhartia told The Hindu to contact the Editor. Editor-in-Chief Sanjoy Narayan said he does not speak to the media on such matters. HT’s CEO Rajiv Verma could not be contacted.

Sources in Hindustan Times said they had not received any internal communication yet, but expect it on Monday. One staffer, who did not wish to be named, said, “There is confusion in the newsroom about his [Mr. Dawes’] precise role, and whom he would be reporting to.” But other informed sources said Mr. Dawes would lead the news operations side of the business, be engaged with both the print and digital platforms, and focus on editorial quality improvement projects.

He is expected to join in September.

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