The Penguin Group has moved quickly to solve its Penguin Canada problem, announcing this morning that Penguin veteran Mike Bryan has been named president of the company and that it has reached an agreement with Lisa Rundle to settle all outstanding claims made by Rundle against the publisher and David Davidar, the former Penguin Canada president who resigned amid sexual harassment charges made by Rundle. Although terms of the settlement were not disclosed, Rundle will return to her previous role as rights and contracts director for Penguin Canada in a few weeks’ time.
In addition, Penguin announced that in the next few weeks, it “expects to appoint a Canadian with senior experience in the media and publishing industries to the position of chairman of a newly formed Canadian board, which will have responsibility for the company’s overall strategy.” Canadian publishing professionals had hoped that the next Penguin Canada head would come from the ranks of Canadian publishing. While Bryan has spent 30 years with Penguin, they have been in various countries. Most recently president of Penguin India, Bryan has set up companies in the Netherlands, Germany, France, Italy and Spain, and, according to Penguin, he also started Penguin Singapore and Malaysia. He will transfer to Toronto in August, reporting to David Shanks, CEO of Penguin USA. Bryan, Shanks and Penguin Group chairman John Makinson will comprise the new board to be chaired by whoever is appointed chairman.
In a prepared statement, Makinson said: “We have today put in place an organization at Penguin Canada that underlines our continuing commitment to Canadian publishing. Mike Bryan will be joining an extremely talented team who, I am certain, will build on the success that the company has enjoyed both creatively and commercially in recent years.”
Davidar’s forced departure from Penguin Canada and the back-and-forth between himself, Penguin and Rundle made headline news in Canada in June. With Penguin Canada’s new structure, Penguin Group hopes to get what has been a successful publishing operation back on track