Clive Dickens, chief operating officer of Absolute Radio, is relocating to Australia to join the radio network Southern Cross Austereo, as Absolute Radio's owner courts potential buyers.
Dickens, who has family in Australia, is moving to Sydney in the spring to take on the role of director of digital and innovation at Southern Cross Austereo, the owner of the 2DayFM station behind the royal hoax call last year.
He will not be directly replaced, but chief executive Donnach O’Driscoll, chief financial officer Adrian Robinson and content director Tony Moorey will assume greater responsibility for programming and content.
Following his departure, Dickens’ direct reports, including Moorey, marketing director Clare Baker, communications director Cat Macdonald, and technology director Paul Brown, will report directly to O’Driscoll or Robinson.
O’Driscoll said: "We wish Clive the very best as he embarks on a new chapter of his life and career in Australia. His contribution to the business over the last five years has been nothing short of enormous.
"He has, in that time, fostered and developed a great team of people and Adrian and I look forward to working even more closely with them."
A well-known figure in the radio industry, Dickens, alongside O’Driscoll and Robinson, joined Absolute Radio when it was bought as Virgin Radio in 2008 and rebranded by Times of India-owner Bennett, Coleman and Co.
Dickens said: "I am really sad to leave, but it has always been an ambition to live closer to my family in Australia and this opportunity to work within the wider Asia Pacific digital economy is the chance of a lifetime. Absolute Radio is in great shape and I will be leaving it in great hands."
Yesterday, Media Week revealed the bid for Absolute Radio, being led by former Virgin Radio chief executive John Pearson, had pulled out of the sale after failing to agree on a price with its current owners.Follow @MaisieMcCabe
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