Mark Ollard is working as interim finance director at Michael O'Mara Books after resigning from his role as finance director at Simon & Schuster UK last year.
Whilst at S&S UK, Ollard oversaw key finance areas, including royalty accounting, financial accounting and business analysis across S&S in the UK, Australia and India. He also represented S&S UK in New York for corporate financial matters, joining the publisher in 2013. Ollard worked at S&S UK for more than five years, also covering for Ian Chapman when the c.e.o. and publisher contracted neurological condition Guillain-Barré syndrome in 2016 and had to take eight months off. Ollard resigned in September 2018 and joined Michael O’ Mara in November.
S&S UK said at the time: "It is with great sadness that we announce that Mark Ollard has decided to leave the company with immediate effect to pursue other opportunities."
His role was not directly replaced but Luke Shaller will join as c.f.o. for its UK and international dealings in a newly created role this summer, following almost a decade with HarperCollins.
“I had a wonderful time there and am really pleased with what I achieved,” Ollard told The Bookseller. “We got it to profitability and kept it there and I rebuilt the finance team, it was a great team. I had so much to be proud of from my time there. I also stepped up when Ian [Chapman] was away [after contracting the life-threatening neurological condition Guillain-Barré syndrome in 2016] so that gave me a different insight. It felt like a good time to try something new.”
He is now enjoying learning about independent publishers, he said, through his work at the family-run Michael O'Mara Books, for which is helping to define the finance director fnction and supporting the recruitment of a candidate in the permanent role.
Ollard is a qualified charted accountant, spent 15 years with Pearson, beginning at the Financial Times before moving to Dorling Kindersley, then Penguin, where in 2003 he became head of commercial and strategic finance, before being headhunted by Chapman for S&S UK shortly before the PRH merger.
He is available to discuss future opportunities on firstname.lastname@example.org.