A proposed restructure at Penguin Random House Australia and New Zealand is set to make 15 people redundant, while three further people are also leaving the company: digital director Sally Bateman, HR director Ian Posthumus and, at the end of the year, deputy c.e.o. Andrew Davis.
In total, the restructure affects roles across senior management, marketing and publicity, publishing, production and sales.
Julie Burland, c.e.o of PRH ANZ, said it had been a "difficult decision", but it was "the right one for the company, its colleagues, authors and their readers".
She said: "2015 has been a challenging year for Penguin Random House in Australia. We need to put our company on a clear path to future growth. We must have a more sustainable and realistic cost base to best enable us to re-invest more in our authors and in publishing their books ever more creatively and successfully. This is a necessary step to give clarity to our colleagues and take us closer to unlocking our true potential as the number one publisher in Australia and New Zealand."
Davis, who leaves at the end of the year, having been with the company for 15 years, was praised by Burland for "successfully steering the integration of Penguin and Random House, bringing together our Group Finance, Distribution, Commercial, Legal and IT teams". He was formerly m.d and c.o.o of Random House Australia and New Zealand from 2000 to 2013, before becoming joint managing director for Penguin Random House Australia and New Zealand and most recently deputy c.e.o for PRH Asia Pacific. He is also on the board of directors for the Australian Publishers Association.
Burland said: "We have all benefitted from Andrew’s experience and insight and I am pleased this will continue for the remainder of this year. We wish him well for the future.
“The measure of a great team is how we overcome challenge and deal with change. Together, we can ensure Penguin Random House Australia and New Zealand continues to be the destination publisher for the best creative talent; a place where local authors are published by colleagues who are passionate about bringing their writing to the widest possible readership.”
Alongside these changes, it's confirmed that Sally Bateman, digital, marketing and publicity director, Penguin Random House Asia Pacific, and Ian Posthumus, HR director, Penguin Random House Asia Pacific, are leaving the company.
Bateman joined Penguin in 1998 and has delivered marketing and publicity strategies for some of Penguin and then Penguin Random House’s best-known authors, from Harper Lee to Jeff Kinney to Jamie Oliver.
Posthumus meanwhile has been with Penguin Random House for 15 months, during which time he built an integrated HR team supporting each of its publishing and distribution sites, and led the harmonisation of the company’s policies and procedures.
Burland commented: “Both Sally and Ian have made substantial contributions to Penguin Random House. They both go with our very best wishes for their future endeavours.”