Incoming News International (NI) CIO Paul Cheesbrough has brought in executives from Google and Apple as senior members of his team.

Cheesbrough – who started at Times, Sunday Times, Sun and News of the World publisher NI in the autumn this year from Telegraph Media Group – also intends to rationalise the company's contractor workforce, bringing levels to around eight IT staff for every contractor, according to a source close to the company.

The two new senior appointments are Xen Lategan, brought in as CTO and Paul Burford, as director of software engineering.

Lategan has worked for Google for the last three years, where he managed the sales engineering division across the UK, Ireland and Benelux countries. Previous to that, he also has experience at Microsoft and Accenture.

Burford was previously iPhone technology evangelist at Apple, where he was involved in helping iPhone and iPad developers understand and adopt new platform features.

The appointments underline the company's commitment to its online activites as it adjusts to a paywall revenue model. The Times and Sunday Times restricted access to their websites to pay-per-view in May. Since then, the News of the World moved behind its paywall last month. The company is in the process of moving the Sun's website across to the new revenue model.

Part of that move involves supporting the iPad tablet device, which requires readers to download a specific application to read the newspapers' stories, thereby enabling the company to more easily lock readers in as customers.