Up to 18 roles at Random House Children’s Publishers (RHCP) are at risk of redundancy, staff were told yesterday afternoon (14th April).
The roles span marketing, publicity, design, editorial and rights, with affected staff now in a 30-day consultation period.
Francesca Dow [pictured], m.d. of the newly merged division Penguin Random House UK Children's, which spans RHCP and Penguin Children's, said the decision to make the RHCP roles redundant had been “difficult but necessary” as RHCP needed “a realistic and sustainable cost base and a return to profitability to enable future growth".
Dow also said that RHCP would “have greater clarity to their publishing” going forward, “publishing fewer books with greater success”.
“We want the whole of Penguin Random House Children's to be a vibrant and successful home for our authors, illustrators, creative partners, and for all of us,” she continued. “This has not been an easy decision. I know how hard these colleagues have worked and the levels of their dedication. We thank them for that.
“This is a difficult time, especially for our colleagues whose roles are at risk. I know everyone will be considerate, supportive and kind to them.
"The measure of a great team is how we overcome challenges together and deal with change. I have every confidence that we can enjoy building a truly exciting business, where our talented teams have the opportunity to thrive and grow. This is what we all want for Penguin Random House Children’s and I promise I will do everything I can to make this happen.”
The 18 roles represent about 12% of staff numbers across the whole of the merged Penguin Random House UK Children's division.
A spokesperson for Penguin Random House said: “The proposed changes are brought about by a need to create a realistic and sustainable cost base for RHCP to enable future growth. You cannot grow a business which is not profitable. This is a sad but necessary step to enable us to create a vibrant and exciting combined children’s division and we must lay the groundwork for our future success.”