Sinead Boucher has been named as chief executive of Fairfax Media New Zealand business, to be renamed Stuff.
The company says that while the name change will roll out over coming months, the Stuff website - with its 2.1 million and growing audience - has become the centrepiece of its portfolio in the country.
In addition to newspapers including The Press (Christchurch) and the Dominion Post (Wellington), this includes websites and events the Neighbourly private social network, and ISP Stuff Fibre.
Fairfax Media chief Greg Hywood says Boucher has established herself as "an impressive force" in modern media: "She steps into the role having had a long and distinguished career in traditional and digital media.
Renaming the business recognises Stuff's "tremendous national brand strength" and its position at the centre of Fairfax's strategy to drive digital growth. "Our long-established print and digital mastheads continue with their existing names, with the Stuff brand to collectively identify our diverse mix of media assets in New Zealand, reaching 90 per cent of the population," he says.
Boucher was previously NZ group executive editor four years, having been Fairfax NZ's first group digital editor in 2007, tasked with developing the then fledgling Stuff website.
In 2015, she was awarded Fairfax's internal Woman of Influence award recognising the special role she has had in advancing gender diversity, at Fairfax and beyond.
"Sinead has done an outstanding job leading our journalism in New Zealand over the past decade," says Hywood. "She has been a driving force in lifting the digital skills, capability and focus of our newsrooms, as well as turbocharging digital, which is going from strength to strength."
She joined The Press in 1993 and worked there for several years before relocating to the UK to work for the Financial Times and Reuters. She returned to The Press as associate editor in 2004.
She says there is a "unique opportunity" with Stuff to develop its position: "New ventures like Neighbourly and Stuff Fibre give us a new way to fund the important local journalism that New Zealanders look to us for every day. I look forward to getting started."
• Sinead Boucher has been added to the chief executives' line-up for NewsMediaWorks' Inform conference in Sydney on September 6.