Annelies van den Belt has been appointed as chief executive of brightsolid online publishing business (BSOP), and Richard Higgs has become chief executive of brightsolid online technology (BSOT).
The brightsolid group is splitting as DC Thomson looks to “build its position in the burgeoning genealogy and cloud computing sectors”, the publisher said.
Chris van der Kuyl, who currently holds the position of group CEO of brightsolid, will take on a new role as strategic adviser to the DC Thomson board, while also pursuing other business interests outside the company.
BSOP owns findmypast.co.uk and genesreunited.co.uk, which are two of the largest genealogy businesses in Europe. It also recently entered the lucrative US market. The company also works with the Imperial War Museum and The British Library to help digitise their archives, among others.
BSOP and BSOT chairman Richard Hall said: “Splitting BSOP and BSOT into separate divisions is the natural next phase of DC Thomson’s growth strategy for the businesses, and the move will allow management teams to fulfil the potential of each division.”
Van den Belt joins BSOP from SUP Media, a leading digital publisher in Russia and the CIS, which recently merged with Rambler, where she held the position of group chief executive. She previously worked for ITV, Telegraph Media Group and News International.
Richard Higgs joined BSOT in 2010 as managing director and has overseen DC’s expansion in delivering online architectures and secure cloud delivery systems from its UK-based data centres.
ITV sold Friends Reunited for £25 million to DC Thomson in 2009, despite having bought the company for £175 million only four years before then. The technology behind Friends Reunited has been used to help build DC’s current online businesses.