Chicago-based Independent Publishers Group has begun the overhaul of its U.K. distribution subsidiary. IPG bought United Independent Distributors (UID), which was formed in 2019 following a series of acquisitions, last October.
In an announcement, IPG said it is implementing a four-part plan to integrate and stabilize UID that will involve “harmonizing” its Eurospan, Marston, and Orca operations into a single entity. Orca has experienced well-reported problems with its stock control, causing client publishers to suffer losses.
As part of the reorganization, UID’s Eurospan unit distribution will now go through Marston Book Services’ systems. As of October 1, all orders for publishers distributed by Eurospan will be processed by the customer service team at Marston. IPG also said that, having been unable to find a buyer for its Turpin Distribution unit, which specializes in the distribution of scholarly publications, it is placing the company into administration.
Accompanying those structural moves, IPG has reorganized its U.K. management team, and is implementing a “one-time reduction in staff across the companies.” Joe Matthews, IPG’s global CEO based in Chicago, will now spend equal time in the U.S. and U.K. Frank Autunnale has been appointed global CFO, overseeing finance and accounting teams in both countries.
Among other leadership changes, Mark Chaloner will remain UID group COO, overseeing facilities, interdepartmental communication, and warehouse management. Imogen Adams, managing director of Eurospan, will continue to oversee Eurospan publishers, but will join the global business development team, which will allow her to offer services in both the U.K. and U.S. markets. Adams’s team will include Catherine Lawn Edwards, head of marketing, and Michelle Zappa, head of sales. Adams will oversee the accounts used by all divisions, and will continue to manage international academic sales, with her U.S.-based counterpart, Scott Hatfill, handling international trade sales as the U.S. and U.K. international programs are merged.
Commenting on the reorganization, Matthews said that “this restructuring of the U.K. has long been anticipated and the leadership team is excited to execute our plans to build a strong and enduring future for the business.”