Carlton’s m.d Jim Greenhough has stepped down after 20 months in the role, saying his decision was a “lifestyle choice”.
Greenhough joined the independent publisher as sales director in 2000 and took the top job in January 2016, replacing Frank Chambers. He is the second m.d to depart the publisher in the last three years: Chambers left the role after 18 months in 2015 and Lisa Edwards, publisher of the adult division, also left two years ago.
Greenhough told The Bookseller he had initiated the move after finding the position “hard and stressful” following a “challenging year” for the company.
He said: "I don’t think there is a pattern in the fact [that there has been a quick turnaround in the company’s m.ds over the past few years]. In my particular case it was my instigation...It is a very challenging role. Over the last 10 years publishing has changed massively.”
Greenhough revealed that the last 12 months had been a “challenging year” for the publisher. He said: “I think I have been successful [as m.d]. I think 2017 has been a challenging year with a difficult market. The international market is challenging and 2016 was bolstered by the international adult colouring book phenomenon which has not been straightforward to replace.”
He added: “This year won’t be as successful as 2016 was but we are well-positioned for 2018.”
Turnover at Jonathan Goodman Publishing, parent company of Carlton Books and Andre Deutsch, rose by 13% last year to £16m for the year ending 31st December 2016 while operating profit was up 204% to £1.6m.
One of the company's directors, Jonathan Goodman, said at the time that Carlton Books had enjoyed a "good year" after 2015's performance was affected by "changes in senior personnel".
Goodman, also the chairman of Carlton, said at the time: “We did have a good year in 2016. All key categories did well. We had another strong year in children’s publishing, led by sales of The Gloriumptious Worlds of Roald Dahl and Digital Magic titles. Adult successes included The Complete Beatles Song Lyrics, The Official Treasures of Muhammud Ali and The Treasures of British History by Dan and Peter Snow.”
Greenhough, who had been commercial director of Carlton Publishing Group before becoming m.d., added: “It was time to move on, we have parted as friends. I got to the point where I was looking for a challenge and working five days a week was not for me. It was a lifestyle choice.”
Greenhough is now searching for new roles and told The Bookseller: “I have been talking about a couple of roles in consulting or non-exec positions. If the right job came along I would be open to that – the industry is not growing.”
Carlton and the company's chairman, Jonathan Goodman, have been approached for comment.
Greenhough can be contacted on email@example.com.