Esquire digital editor Sam Parker will join Penguin Random House UK this month in a newly created role as editor-in-chief of its website.
Parker will oversee Penguin.co.uk “to establish its website as the number one online destination for readers”, working as part of the audience and digital development team. “Working as part of the audience and digital development team, Sam will oversee the website’s shift from a predominantly marketing-led to an editorially-driven site, with a clear voice and purpose,” PRH said.
He will start on 28th May and will report to Albert Hogan, director of audience and digital development.
PRH said the appointment forms part of its ambition "to become the number one online place for book-buyers to discover what to read next". The new role also follows the re-launch of Penguin.co.uk in September 2018 which bought together the Penguin, Puffin, Ladybird and Penguin Random House websites in a single destination “alongside a fresh new look, cutting-edge search functionality and easier-than-ever navigation between brands, authors and books”.
The website now receives more than one million monthly visitors, as well as more than two million page views each month, PRH said.
Parker joins after six years at Esquire Magazine, where he most recently held the role of digital editor. He has ten years’ experience working for a number of leading international brands and publishers, with previous roles including culture editor for Huffington Post UK and features editor of Buzzfeed UK. He has also regularly written features for the Times, the Guardian, the Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail, amongst others.
"I am both thrilled and honoured to be joining Penguin at such an exciting moment in its history as editor-in-chief,” Parker said. “Like many other people, I've always associated the Penguin logo with the discovery of great writers and new ideas. Our aim now is to create the same experience for our online readers, whether on our website or across our social media channels. I can’t wait to start working with our world class authors and in-house talent to achieve this, as well as attracting some of the best journalists in the country to join us."
Hogan added: “The re-launch of penguin.co.uk last year was an exciting moment to increase our ambition for what we can deliver for audiences, authors and the business online. We are delighted to have Sam’s impressive editorial skills and instincts in place as we start the next chapter in working towards achieving this ambition.”