Host Europe Names Former BBC Director General Lord Birt Chairman

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Former BBC director general Lord Birt has been named non-executive chairman of Host Europe, according an announcement by the company on Tuesday.

According to The Times, Birt has stepped in following the “abrupt exit” of former Host Europe CEO Thomas Vollrath, who has been replaced in the interim by Patrick Pulvermuller.

Birt served as director general at the BBC from 1992 to 2000, and has held many high profile positions including chairman of PayPal Europe.

“Host Europe is in an excellent position to respond to the rapidly developing and expanding needs of its many customers right across Europe. I am honored to be invited to join such an industry-leading team at this innovative, enterprising and fast-growing company,” Lord Birt said.

The appointment comes shortly after Host Europe acquired domainFACTORY at the end of October to expand its presence and capability in the German mass hosting market. 

The shakeups at Host Europe follow its July acquisition by private equity firm Cinven for approximately $667 million.

“Lord John Birt is recognized as one of the country’s leading figures in the digital arena, having overseen significant changes during his time at the BBC and throughout his career,” David Barker, partner of Cinven said. “His considerable experience and expertise in technology will be an enormous asset to Host Europe Group. His appointment comes at a time when the European hosting market is experiencing rapid growth and the Group is in a very strong position to capitalize on this.”

Host Europe Group is headquartered in the UK and manages more than 5.5 million domains, with more than 1 million customers. It offers domain registration, managed hosting and cloud hosting services to customers primarily in the UK and Germany.

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