My Job In 5: Peter Phillips

My Job In 5: Peter Phillips

Describe your role

As Chief Executive, I lead the team which is responsible for the day-to-day management of Cambridge University Press as well as working closely with other parts of the University of Cambridge – especially the teaching and research departments and Cambridge Assessment - in delivering our mission to advance knowledge, learning and research. I’m also currently President of the Publishers Association, which leads on behalf of the whole industry in working with government and others on issues like the importance of copyright and the recent removal of VAT on ebooks.

What do you like best about your role?

It has to be the wonderful and talented people I get to work with: my colleagues at the Press and across Cambridge, and the authors, readers, researchers, teachers and students we serve all across the globe.

Which new projects or titles are you working on at the moment?

It’s hard to choose when so much is going on in every aspect of our operations! Educational and scholarly publishing – indeed publishing as a whole – is undergoing huge changes and we are adapting to the increasingly digital and open nature of our markets while maintaining high-quality, curated content in a world which can often feel saturated by a desire for immediacy over depth. A huge amount of work is on digital and data developments, like AI powered learning tools and platform developments, and this quarter for the first time our digital and blended sales made up the majority of our revenues.

What skills do you need for your role?

You need to think strategically, see the bigger picture and explain and excite people about the direction we need to head. That depends on understanding our customers and users and being passionate about what we do. You have to be able to work well with people, choosing the right people for the right jobs, delegating and trusting them. And ultimately you need to be able to weigh opinions and advice, but not be afraid of being decisive.

What advice would you give to those looking to work in the industry?

There are an increasing number of ways into the industry, including through apprenticeships. So look at your options, do your research and pick the route that’s right for you. Publishing is a fantastic industry with lots of opportunities to build a fulfilling career whether it’s in content, digital, marketing or wherever. We look forward to welcoming you!