Gayford and Lake promoted at Profile as Gray joins exec team

Gayford and Lake promoted at Profile as Gray joins exec team

Editors Cecily Gayford and Ed Lake (pictured top) have been appointed joint publishing directors at Profile Books, as Souvenir publisher Rebecca Gray joins the executive team.

Gayford and Lake will report to Gray, publisher of Souvenir Press, who is joining the executive team alongside m.d. Andrew Franklin, campaigns director Niamh Murray, finance director Frances Ford, sales director Claire Beaumont and Serpent's Tail publisher Hannah Westland.

Since joining Profile in 2012, Gayford has established an extensive list of non-fiction ranging from medieval history to cookery. In addition to assisting with the Wellcome Collection imprint, she has worked with authors such as Shaun Bythell, Ruby Tandoh, Adam Kurcharski, Matthew Parris, Val McDermid and Hashi Mohamed.

Commenting on the new role, she said: "Profile has been my publishing home for nine stimulating and creative years. I’m absolutely delighted to be taking on this role, and am immensely looking forward to shaping our list of world-class authors for the future. It’s especially nice to be doing so alongside Ed, whose enviable knack for publishing combines intellectual rigour with a joyous sense of fun and possibility."

Lake joined Profile in 2016, following a journalism career in which he helped to found the online culture magazine, Aeon. His list ranges over history, science, politics, philosophy and economics, and his authors include Matthew Cobb, Oliver Bullough, Shoshana Zuboff and Saidiya Hartman.

He said: "I’m very proud to step up and help guide Profile to its next phase, and I couldn’t picture a better partner to set out on this adventure with than my marvellous colleague Cecily, whose vital, imaginative and deeply entertaining books are the lifeblood of the list. Profile is a very special company indeed, and it is a real honour to have been entrusted with this part of its destiny."

Gray, (pictured left) has worked for Profile since 2007, first as Serpent’s Tail publicity director and then as an editor across all the lists. In 2019 she became publisher of Souvenir Press, bringing in new authors including Emily Oster and republishing existing books including Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. She continues to publish fiction and non-fiction across the imprints, including Karen Joy Fowler and Annie Gray.

She said: "Reimagining Souvenir Press and branching out into a new area of publishing has been such a rewarding process. My job has evolved at Profile as I have grown up there, and this new phase looks set to be the most exciting yet. Ed and Cecily are talented and creative colleagues, as are the members of the executive I’ll be joining. I feel very lucky to have them, and to be working more closely with them all."

Franklin commented: "Ed and Cecily are both brilliant acquiring editors, who have a real talent for working with authors, helping shape their books, editing, and then – perhaps most important of all – publishing with aplomb. Profile, on its 25th anniversary, is in the very best of hands. And we are delighted to have Rebecca join us on the exec team, her vision and eye for detail have been impressive ever since she joined us with Serpent’s Tail, since when she has risen from publicist to publisher and now a member of the executive team."