[ PW Home ] [ Bestsellers ] [ Subscribe ] [ Search ]

Publishers Weekly News

Sales, Earnings Rise at S&S; New Sales Team Named
Jim Milliot -- 2/21/00

Simon & Schuster announced last week that it has put in place a new senior management team to run its recently consolidated sales division (News, Dec. 6, 1999), while parent company Viacom reported that sales at the publisher increased 8.2% to $610.7 million in 1999, with operating income up 2.1% to $54.3 million.

The major new addition to the S&S sales and distribution division is David Lappin, who has been named v-p, director of national accounts, which will put him in charge of overseeing sales at all major national retailers and distributors. Lappin, who will start at S&S February 28, had been senior v-p and executive director of sales at Random House until he resigned last October (News, Oct. 18, 1999).

In addition to Lappin's appointment, Larry Norton, senior v-p and director of sales, has been given the responsibility for strategic and sales planning as well as business management and communications functions in the division. In his new role, Norton will also manage the synchronization of S&S's sales and publishing efforts.

Other management appointments include Stefan Kaiser, who was named v-p, director of wholesale sales and retail marketing. Kaiser had been in a similar position at Pocket. Roger Williams, formerly v-p, director of field sales for the S&S trade division, has been given similar responsibilities for all of S&S and will also oversee telemarketing and online sales. Julie Sanders remains v-p, director of special sales and custom publishing, and Cyrus Kheradi will continue as v-p, international sales.

The new management staff will report directly to Rick Richter, president of the sales and distribution division. Richter promised that with the new team in place, the company "intends to offer a whole new suite of sales and marketing services that will transform the traditional relationship between publisher and customer." Details of the sales group reorganization at the field and operational levels are expected to be announced next month.

Commenting on S&S's financial performance in 1999, company president Jack Romanos said he was pleased that the company's 8.2% sales increase outpaced the 5.9% industry gain (see lead story), despite the distractions caused by the uncoupling of the consumer group from S&S's divested educational and professional groups. Romanos noted that the trade and children's divisions had strong years, with the adult group led by "three Stephen Kings, two McCourts and Mary Higgins Clark." The mass market division "held its own in a difficult market," he added.

Romanos attributed the decrease in S&S's operating margin from 9.4% in 1998 to 8.9% last year to "the loss of scale" that accompanied the separation of the consumer group from the other units. Romanos told PW he was optimistic that over the next few years, S&S will be able to replace the loss of scale through revenue growth as well as by other initiatives that "run the gamut from watching advances, reducing returns and smarter spending of our marketing dollars."

Leaving the Fold

In other personnel moves, S&S has lost a couple well-known executives in recent weeks. Seth Gershel resigned earlier this month as senior v-p and publisher of S&S Audio, and Annik LaFarge has resigned as associate publisher of S&S's adult trade imprint.

Gershel, who has no immediate plans, joined S&S Audio in 1986 as director of sales; he was named v-p in 1989 and senior v-p in 1994. He also served as publisher since 1991. Until a replacement is found, Gilles Dana, senior v-p of S&S new media, will oversee the audio division.

LaFarge is departing S&S to take a position with Steve Brill's new operation, Contentville.com (News, Feb. 7).

Back To News

Search | Bestsellers | News | Features | Children's Books | Bookselling
Interview | Industry Update | International | Classifieds | Authors On the Highway
About PW | Subscribe
Copyright 2000. Publishers Weekly. All rights reserved.