His appointment forms the last stage in Rhapsody’s expansion into the cross-publishing arena using the firm’s Emagine asset and workflow management system, said the firm. Rahim will be responsible for devising and implementing digital strategies across the client base and overseeing digital output.

“My goal is to help catalogue companies produce better, more engaging digital content for use on technology such as iPads, and really bring a new level of understanding,” he said. “Some publishing companies are strong on digital but most are in the transitionary phase.

“There is still a role for print: a lot of titles are fantastic and deliver great value to their customers, but digital can offer something different and enable people to delve deeper. Print isn’t going to go away but its relationship with digital is changing, driven by the customer.”

Rahim’s career spans 17 years in the digital arena for employers such as Fitch, Harvest Digital and Modem Media. He has worked with Apple, Penguin Books, Conde Nast Publishing and government departments, and before Rhapsody he worked in retail design.

“The way we consume media has changed beyond all recognition and publishers and brands are still questioning how best to integrate print, digital, and mobile content to ensure consistent user experiences irrespective of the medium or format,” he said.

Managing director Les Pipe said: “This is a key appointment for Rhapsody and reflects our commitment to innovate, manage and deliver clients’ content across all media. John’s experience in digital adds value to our compelling suite of services in print and on-line.”

Rhapsody, owned by Walstead Investments which also owns Wyndeham Group, has several blue-chip clients such as Boden, De Beers, Superbrands, Marie Claire, Orient Express and Waitrose Food. Walstead boasts £125m sales.