Hachette UK has restructured its sales operation, creating two sales teams, resulting in the loss of a respected and much-loved director and up to 20 jobs.
Dallas Manderson (left), one of Orion's founding members, has decided to step down "to pursue other interests." Urbane, witty and vastly experienced--his career stretches back through Random House, Random Century, Century Hutchinson and Century itself, then an upstart indie, to the late Desmond Elliott's Arlington Books--Manderson has been involved in innumerable rounds of trade negotiations, voicing commonsense views in a calm and respectful manner. Orion CEO David Young said in the statement: "There will be other opportunities to pay proper and fitting tribute to Dallas for his enormous contribution to Orion, so for now I simply want to salute him as a brilliant sales director and a wonderful colleague. Everyone at Orion will miss him very much indeed."
The move marks a significant change of approach for a Group and a CEO, Tim Hely Hutchinson, always noteworthy for a federal approach. It comes ahead of Hachette's phased move into a single office on Victoria Embankment, now scheduled for 2015, an environment in which the sharing of departments and services becomes much more straightforward. But, as the announcement acknowledges, "substantial changes in our markets mean that we have to adapt our approach in order to reflect and better serve these markets."
The sales teams at Little, Brown and Orion will unite under Rob Manser, who is currently sales, marketing and publicity director of Little, Brown. Jo Carpenter, sales director of Orion and Manderson's long-serving right hand, will report to Manser, alongside the Little, Brown sales director, the Head of Export Sales and the Head of Digital/Online Sales--who are yet to be appointed. Sales Support, Production, Operations and Special Sales for both businesses will be combined under one COO, Ben Groves-Raines, currently COO of Little, Brown.
Consideration is being given to the Orion special sales team, led by custom publishing director Elizabeth Bond, to take on wider responsibilities.
Little, Brown marketing and publicity will continue to report to Manser, Orion Marketing to Mark Rusher.
The sales teams of Hodder & Stoughton, Headline, Hachette Children's Books and Quercus will be under the jurisdiction of Lucy Hale, currently consumer director of Hodder & Stoughton and John Murray Press. Each division will retain a sales director and sales staff who will work closely with the managing directors.
Barbara Ronan (Headline sales director), Ben Gutcher (John Murray Press U.K. sales director), Catherine Worsley (Hodder & Stoughton UK sales director), Jason McKenzie (Hachette Children's Books U.K. sales director), and Dave O'Shea (Hodder Faith key accounts manager), together with the Quercus Sales Director and the ANZ/Ireland International Manager, who are yet to be appointed, will all report to Hale.
Clare Somerville, deputy managing director of Hachette Children's Books with responsibility for growth projects and for marketing, publicity and rights and school sales, will continue to report to Marlene Johnson, managing director of Hachette Children's Books.
Jane Harris, who joined the Group earlier this year with the purchase of Quercus, where she has been for just 18 months, will leave in July. Jamie Hodder-Williams, CEO of Hodder and Headline, said: "Jane is admired enormously throughout the trade and in the very short time that we have worked together--since Hodder & Stoughton acquired Quercus--my admiration for her professionalism and her understanding of publishing and bookselling has deepened."
Manser and Hale will work together to determine the right structure for field sales. Any changes to be made will be announced later in the year. International sales is to be brought together under one International Sales Director, to be appointed, who will work closely with the divisional sales directors and their export sales specialists, and report to Richard Kitson.
There remain a number of sales roles to be filled in both new departments, including sales director of Little, Brown and sales director of Quercus. It is hoped that internal candidates will fill the majority of these positions, but, "very regrettably, a small number of roles in sales are now at risk of redundancy".
The statement concluded: "We are enormously proud of our sales teams, of their passion for the books they sell and of their knowledge and understanding of their customers. This reorganization ensures that all those qualities are maintained and that each company, the imprints within it and therefore every book we publish, will continue to have individual focus but, by coming together in this way to better reflect our markets, we can be more effective."
The announcement follows lay-offs in New York that HBGUS said was part of "a cost-saving initiative;" there are unconfirmed reports of 28 job losses in New york, representing some 3% of staff, thought to include some senior editors. Those moves are also intended to "improve efficiency and balance throughout" the company.
It also emerged, at an investors' day, that parent company Lagardere is aiming to re-balance the U.K. and U.S. companies, building the latter to become "a premier league competitor." The presentation described the relationship between the two companies as "skewed," noting that the U.K. company was "insufficiently provided" with bestsellers from the U.S., while Hachette UK has several stars--including Stephen King and Harlan Coben--not on Hachette U.S. lists.