Horobin to leave Simon & Schuster

Horobin to leave Simon & Schuster

Simon & Schuster’s group sales, marketing and publicity director James Horobin is to leave the company at the end of this week.

The publisher said Horobin, who joined the company in 2010, intended to “seek challenges in his career outside of Simon & Schuster.”

His departure is the latest in a recent cluster, including children's m.d. Ingrid Selberg, who announced her departure in December, non-fiction publishing director Mike Jones, who left last June, and senior commissioning editor Jessica Leeke, who departed to join Michael Joseph in September. 

Ian Chapman, c.e.o and publisher of S&S UK and International, said: “I regret to announce that James Horobin has resigned from his position as group sales, marketing and publicity director.  James has decided to seek challenges in his career outside of Simon & Schuster…During his time, James developed sales strategies for the UK that have been a key part of many of our major author performances, notably Lynda La Plante, Santa Montefiore, Philippa Gregory, Jackie Collins and Tom Rob Smith.  He has led his departments through a time of change both within the business and within the publishing industry.”

Horobin first joined S&S in 2010, first as group sales, marketing and brand development director, and since 2013 as group sales, marketing and publicity director.  

Chapman said he would soon begin the search for Horobin’s successor, but that he would be available to the business over the coming months to assure “a smooth transition to new leadership.”  

“Our sales, marketing and publicity teams remain a key component of our publishing efforts, and I have every confidence that the team in place will continue to serve our authors with excellence in the UK and international marketplace,” Chapman said. 

Last month, Chapman told The Bookseller the company had seen a “challenging year”, not helped by staff changes. He was speaking after S&S global’s parent company CBS revealed a sales drop of 3.8% to $778m in the 12 months to the end of December 2014 and a decline of 5.6% in operating profit to $101m.

Although S&S UK results were not broken out from the global picture, Chapman said: “After four to five years of growth through BookScan, we were a touch down year-on-year. The performance was not what we anticipated…We had a lot of staffing changes, which didn't help.”