Johnston Press, publishers of The Scotsman and a range of local papers, has appointed a new chief digital and product officer following the departure of Henry Faure Walker to Newsquest.

The chief digital officer (CDO) role is expected to become increasingly popular, with analysts at Gartner predicting that the number of companies with a CDO to triple in the next year.

The regional newspaper publisher has hired Jeff Moriarty, a former journalist and currently vice president of digital products for The Boston Globe and general manager for in the US.

He will join Johnston Press in April, with responsibility for the vision and development of the company’s digital strategy.

Moriarty has spent much of his career at The New York Times Company, and designed and developed, which is considered to be one of the most successful regional subscription-based sites in the US. It is apparently known as a pioneer in the use of responsive web design, which enables the website to be viewed in the optimum way via any device, including mobiles and tablets.

He has worked at The Boston Globe since 2010, prior to which he brought new mobile, video and advertising offerings to, which he joined in 2009. Before that, he developed digital offerings at The New York Times, including a Manhattan property website.

Johnston Press says its digital audiences have grown 45% year-on-year, and reached 13.7 million unique users last month. Moriarty’s job will be to build on this growth.

Ashley Highfield, CEO of Johnston Press, said: “The knowledge, experience, insight and innovation that Moriarty will bring to Johnston Press will help us forge ahead with our ambitious growth plans.

“Our digital revenues have grown by 60 percent and in many parts of the UK they now account for 20% of our overall advertising revenues. As recently as 2010, they made up only five percent.”

Moriarty replaced Johnston Press’s digital and business development director Henry Faure Walker, who left to join Newsquest as CEO.