Pearson is overhauling its DK and Rough Guides divisions in response to steady declines in the reference market, including travel publishing. As a result, Gary June, DK chief executive, is leaving the company to become chief marketing officer at Pearson's North American Education company, which is headed by Will Ethridge. Peter Field, chief executive of Penguin UK will now also oversee DK. While the management of DK will remain in London with its own dedicated worldwide sales organization, finance and production teams, Pearson will move aspects of the DK publishing process to New Delhi, where a portion of editorial development is already done and where the company has 140 employees. Total DK output will be reduced from about 250 titles annually to under 200 by 2011.
In the U.S., there will be a “small number” of job losses in the DK office, Penguin chairman John Makinson said. As part of the reorganization, Andrew Phillips was put in charge of directing global sales from the London office and Therese Burke, senior v-p of sales for DK in New York, will now report to him. Makinson said Phillips and Burke will work together to develop appropriate print runs for the American market. There are no other changes in the reporting lines between New York and London. The DK management team includes Phillips, who is joint deputy chief executive along with John Duhigg; Miriam Farbey, publisher; and Sally Johnson, director of finance and operations.
Makinson said DK will continue to utilize DK's co-edition model aimed at publishing illustrated editions for a worldwide audience. He noted that DK has had growth in a number of international markets, but has been under pressure in the U.S. The goal of the restructuring, he said, is to bring DK's cost structure down to a manageable level and then redesign the list that the new infrastructure can support. Makinson said reference sales continued soft in the first half of 2009, although there was some improvement in the travel market in May and June.
The reorganization announcement was made simultaneously with the news that Helen Fraser will retire as managing director of Penguin Books at the end of the year. Tom Weldon, managing director of Penguin General, has been named deputy chief executive and assumes responsibility for all of Penguin's publishing and production. During 2010 he will take over more responsibilities for Penguin UK from Field and become chief executive at the end of 2010.
The DK and Penguin reorganizations resulted in the loss of about 100 jobs.