Steve Parr, who was brought in to turn around Harry Abrams a little more than two years ago, will leave the company April 30 to join Primedia as president of the performance automotive group. Parr came to Abrams as CEO in February 2002, shortly after the art book publisher implemented a major restructuring of its operations that included the resignation of publisher Mark Magowan. Before joining Abrams, Parr had headed Primedia's EMAP division. A company spokesperson said a search for Parr's replacement has been initiated.

Eric Himmel, Abrams v-p and editor-in-chief, credited Parr with giving Abrams "the tools to run the business more effectively and efficiently." Parr made Abrams change to reflect the realities of the marketplace without changing what the house published, Himmel said. "He made us see we had to evolve or die."