BIG Partnership has appointed the former chief commercial officer at Telegraph Media Group as its first chief executive.

Steve McLaughlin, 55, who was responsible for TMG’s digital strategy, subscription programme and syndication, has also held senior management roles at the Daily Mail, Trinity Mirror, ICS Learn and Scottish Radio Holdings.

He joins BIG from Dubai-based Gulf Sports Media, a digital and print content business, where he trebled digital revenues during a three-year spell as chief executive.

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Neil Gibson, BIG founding director, said: “With turnover this year of around £10 million, our highest-ever, we’re ready to take the next step forward in BIG’s evolution and Steve’s appointment will play a major role in further accelerating our expansion.

“He has a superb, sustained pedigree of driving business growth, with a specific focus on digital performance, as his track record in his last two leadership roles with Gulf Sports Media and ICS Learn amply demonstrates.

“We had over 260 applications for the role, and interviewed several extremely strong contenders, but Steve was the outstanding candidate and the unanimous choice of the board.

“Working with our senior team, he will play a pivotal role in accelerating the strong growth we’ve seen in recent years, with a particular emphasis on further integrating our content, digital and design offerings for our clients’ benefit.”

Mr McLaughlin said he is “hugely excited” by the move.

He said: “I know from many people within my own network that BIG has a hard-earned and justified reputation as a firm which really delivers for its clients.”

BIG Partnership, with 120 staff and 350 clients, has offices in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Manchester and is one of the UK’s largest marketing and communications agencies.