– UK – dotdigital Group Plc (AIM:DOTD),  the leading provider of intuitive software as a service (“SaaS”) and managed services to digital marketing professionals announces that after eight years with the Company, Peter Simmonds has indicated to the Board his wish to retire as Chief Executive Officer no later than 30th September 2015.

The Board has already identified a successor with Simone Barratt moving from her current role as non-Executive Director to Deputy CEO (CEO designate) with effect from 14th October 2014. Simone’s in-depth understanding of the online marketing industry being gained in her time at eDialog as Managing Director of UK, Europe and APAC continuing as President with global responsibility when the business was acquired by eBay. In her two years as a non-executive Director at dotdigital Simone has gained extensive knowledge of the business and, as a Board member, has had an active role in shaping the strategy of the business. Simone is highly respected by senior managers and staff and her excellent track record in growing an international email marketing business will be of great benefit to dotdigital as it moves into the next phase of overseas expansion. Simone will assume full responsibility for the sales and marketing activities of the business with immediate effect. During the transition period she will work closely with Peter Simmonds and the Board so that she gets a full understanding of all other aspects of the business, thus ensuring an orderly transition.

The Board is also pleased to announce the appointment today of Sharon Head to the position of ‘Customer Experience Director’ on the dotmailer Operational Board. Sharon has previously worked with Simone Barratt at eDialog and brings a wealth of industry experience together with running global client services and operations teams.

Frank Beechinor, Chairman, said: “Whilst we will be sad to be losing Peter next year we respect the fact that Peter has always indicated his wish to retire in his mid 50s.  On behalf of the Board I would like to thank Peter for his outstanding service to dotdigital. In the six years as CEO Peter has led the Company from Plus to AIM and ensured continued performance against business and market expectations. During this time he has overseen a 243% growth in turnover, 292% growth in EBIDTA and developed a business that has been consistently cash generative.  Peter will leave dotdigital a stronger company poised to exploit the extensive international potential for our products and services. Simone is an outstanding candidate for the role and her extensive skills and experience make her the ideal person to lead the business through its next phase of evolution.”

Peter Simmonds, Chief Executive officer commented:”The last eight years has been a fantastic journey, moving from twelve people above a shop in South Croydon to a 180 person international business with offices in central London and New York, and I am proud of what we have achieved.

“I am confident the phased transition means the change at the helm will be seamless. Simone has many years’ experience of our industry from her past roles. During her two years as a non-executive director she has made a huge contribution to the functioning of the Board and the strategic direction of the business. I have no doubt that under her leadership the business will continue to go from strength to strength.

“In deciding that now is the correct time to announce my retirement I am comfortable that the business is in excellent shape, with a great team in place and that the international growth strategy has an energetic leader committed to being at the helm.”

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