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Home » News UK appoints new CTO as Simon Farnsworth leaves for ITV

News UK appoints new CTO as Simon Farnsworth leaves for ITV

News UK has appointed a new chief technology officer (CTO) ahead of Simon Farnsworth leaving for ITV.

Tom Jackson is currently director of data at the Sun and Times publisher and has run a 100-strong team based in London, Sofia and Bangalore developing data science, generative AI, data warehousing and data product development.

He also previously managed the digital development programme at Guardian News and Media in 2011 to 2012.

Jackson will now have ultimate responsibility for the technology infrastructure enabling News UK’s digital-first strategy.

He will lead News UK’s multidisciplinary central technology teams, making sure each division has the right structure, architecture, talent and capability to ensure the delivery of a high-quality experience for audiences and commercial partners.

News UK chief executive Rebekah Brooks said: “News UK is resolutely a digital-first media business and each of our brands has opportunities to expand its audience reach by creating content in every format. Data and technology, alongside our world-class journalism and broadcasting, are the fundamentals of our success today and tomorrow.”

Brooks added she was “certain” Jackson will “unlock even more potential from a brilliant technology team, partnering our brand leaders to execute their successful digital strategies”.

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Jackson said he looked forward to supporting The Sun, Times Media and News Broadcasting “as they evolve their digital offers and deliver long term sustainable digital growth”.

What has Simon Farnsworth done in his time as News UK CTO?

Farnsworth has been CTO at News UK since September 2022.

It was announced one year later that he will be leaving to join ITV in the same role in early 2024. He will sit on the broadcaster’s management board.

ITV said Farnsworth will be “responsible for leading the group-wide technology strategy, overseeing infrastructure, tech architecture and innovation as part of ITV’s digital transformation”.

Farnsworth appeared at Press Gazette’s Future of Media Technology Conference in September where he said his tenure in the CTO role was characterised by the technology he threw out.

“When I first joined, there was an awful lot of tech being developed in News UK for tech’s sake. And I came along and [said] well – what’s the point of that?”

As a result of his simplification measures, he said, the company went from delivering 72% of its initiatives each quarter to 83%.

The technology areas the business did invest in under Farnsworth included a first-party data platform, a video platform and core web vitals for website user experience.

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