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A new driving force at newspaper group.

Byline: By Iain Laing

The man who established carmaker Nissan in the North-East has been appointed chairman of Trinity Mirror ( the media group which owns The Journal.

Sir Ian Gibson was yesterday named as the replacement for Sir Victor Blank as the chair of the UK's biggest newspaper group.

The Manchester-born 59-year-old, who lives in Whalton, near Morpeth, with his wife Sue Wilson, adds the role to an impressive list of boardroom posts which have followed a high-flying career in the motor industry.

Sir Ian is a non-executive director of Newcastle bakery chain Greggs, engineering and defence group GKN and is the senior non-executive director of Newcastle mortgage bank Northern Rock.

He has also been the deputy chairman of retail giant Asda and has been a non-executive director of the Bank of England.

Most recently he was chairman of British Plaster Board until its takeover by French company Saint Gobain at the end of last year.

He said: "Trinity Mirror is one of the most exciting media businesses in the UK.

"I am delighted to be joining the board and bringing my experience to the table as we explore further options for growth and the creation of shareholder value."

But the businessman is best known in the North-East for managing the opening of Japanese car maker Nissan's huge Sunderland plant in 1985.

He oversaw the growth of the factory, with the winning of the contract to build the Micra in 1992, into a site which now employs around 4,500 staff and is estimated to help support more than 10,000 further jobs in the region.

Sir Ian will begin his new role next Thursday after the company's annual general meeting when Sir Victor Blank will step down before taking on his new role as chairman of Lloyds TSB.

Trinity Mirror also owns the Daily Mirror as well as a 240-strong portfolio of regional newspapers including the Evening Chronicle and Sunday Sun in Newcastle and the Evening Gazette in Middlesbrough.

Father-of-three Sir Ian, who was awarded the CBE in 1991 and was knighted in 1999 for services to industry, had worked his way up through the ranks at Ford Motor Group before joining Nissan in 1984.

His wide experience of manufacturing has also resulted in his work with the Government in initiatives including the Innovation and Growth Team for the Motor Industry.

His contribution to the industry was recognised with his appointment as president of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. But his many work commitments have not prevented him from spending time working with charities in the North-East and offering his expertise to the International Centre for Life.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:Apr 29, 2006
Words:440
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