Parker to leave Bonnier Publishing after 20 years

Parker to leave Bonnier Publishing after 20 years

Sharon Parker, Bonnier Publishing's group chief operating officer, is stepping down from her role after 20 years with the company. 

The news follows the departure of chief executive Richard Johnson in February after nine years at the helm and his subsequent replacement by acting chief executive officer Jim Zetterlund, who serves as c.o.o. and c.f.o. of Bonnier Publishing's parent company Bonnier Books in Sweden. 

Prior to Johnson leaving, Bonnier Books said the UK business had "wrestled with profitability problems as the result of rapid growth, which had a strong negative effect on the financial results". On taking the position of acting group c.e.o., Zetterlund said the time had come to establish the mass-market publisher as "a fully-fledged publisher". 

Parker joined Bonnier Publishing in 1998 and worked her way up from the position of national account manager of children’s imprint Autumn Publishing to group c.o.o. She will leave the business on 1st October. Bonnier Publishing confirmed it was Parker's decision to leave, but said it is not looking to recruit a replacement for her at the moment. No other staff will be affected by her departure, the company added.

As group c.o.o., Parker is credited in helping to steer the company’s growth "from a small portfolio of imprints to a major player in the UK publishing industry" and is acknowledged for playing "an integral role" in the expansion of the business in the USA and Australia.

In addition to overseeing the company’s recruitment and HR development initiatives, Parker was also "the driving force" behind the company’s growing presence at book fairs in Bologna, Frankfurt and London, according Bonnier Publishing.

On her departure, Zetterlund spoke of Parker's "ever-present commitment and ability" and thanked her for the "key" role she played in building the company up from the ground. 

"For 20 years, Sharon, in various senior positions, has been a key part of driving the development of Bonnier Publishing from a small business in Chichester to the global publishing group of today," he said. "As group chief operating officer Sharon has overseen expansion in the UK, USA and Australian ventures, much of which would not have been possible without her. I have especially appreciated her ever-present commitment, determination and ability to successfully deliver whatever is asked of her, regardless of how difficult or sizeable the project.

"I would like to extend my warmest thanks and wish her the best of luck in her future endeavours."

Parker expressed a "a mixture of sadness and excitement" to be leaving and is said to be "considering new opportunities".

She commented: "After 20 incredible years working for Bonnier Publishing, it is with a mixture of sadness and excitement that I have decided to step down from my role as group chief operating officer. 

"I have had the privilege of working alongside some of the most talented people, and I am incredibly proud of all that we achieved. I have been lucky enough to forge many amazing friendships and I have learnt so much along the way.

"I want to thank Jim and the rest of the senior team at Bonnier Publishing for all their support and I wish them all the best for the exciting journey ahead."