Hardy, who spearheaded Sony Music's marketing strategy, will report to Paul Keenan, the chief executive of Bauer Media.
He will take blanket responsibility for Bauer Media's web, social and mobile divisions, and will initially concentrate on building up its existing brands. He will also work on developing the company's prominence and audience through new digital services.
Prior to his position at Sony Music, Hardy was the marketing director for Simon Cowell-owned Syco Entertainment, where he presided over the global launch of the pop group, One Direction. The band was the first British group to debut at number one in the US album chart.
Hardy was also European marketing director at Sony PlayStation and marketing director at the Walt Disney Company, leading Disney and Pixar's UK marketing campaigns.
Keenan said: "Mark's unique experience of marketing branded content globally will be exceptionally valuable to us as we accelerate the digital migration of our world-famous brands."
Hardy said that, with "such a strong portfolio", Bauer was well positioned to take advantage of changing consumer needs, marketing channels and revenue streams.
He added: "I am confident that my broad experience in digital, entertainment and branded content will bring a new perspective to a company that is already driving innovation in this space."
This article was first published on mediaweek.co.uk