DK c.e.o. Ian Hudson is leaving the firm after three-and-a-half years at the helm, with Carsten Coesfeld appointed as his successor.
In an announcement to staff today, PRH c.e.o. Markus Dohle said Hudson would be leaving to “recharge his batteries” before embarking on future plans. Already a non-executive director of Which?, Hudson is hoping to take on similar roles and “expand his plural work portfolio across media and cultural industries generally”.
He will stay until the end of April to support the transition of Coesfeld, who becomes c.e.o. from his Bertelsmann role on 9th March.
Hudson said: “It has been a privilege to enjoy the support of my hugely talented colleagues across DK over the past nearly four years. We have been on a challenging journey together and, with some wonderful support from PRH colleagues around the world, DK’s transformation is something we can all be proud of. With growing sales and profitability, an ambitious growth strategy and a supremely strong leadership team in place, DK is well positioned for further success.
“It’s never easy to leave people you care about, or a business you love and believe in, but I feel I have achieved what I set out to and now is the right time to take the break I’ve been promising my family before embarking on the next stage of my career."
Hudson joined Random House in 1992, holding multiple roles including deputy group finance director, commercial director, managing director for children’s publishing, group managing director, and deputy group c.e.o. In 2012/13 he was involved in negotiating the merger of Penguin and Random House.
Taking on DK in 2016, he “rebuilt its operations and created the strongest publishing programme it has had in years”, Dohle said. He wrote: “One of Ian's greatest accomplishments has been the way he has aligned the company around its repositioning and brought the team together to update their global sales and marketing practices, re-invigorate the brand, and ultimately turning DK into a modern, highly creative global publishing company with significant potential for growth, setting it on a positive course for the future.”
Coesfeld started at Bertelsmann in 2011 working as the management associate for its c.e.o. Most recently he has been Arvato’s president of telecommunications in its supply chain solutions group.
Dohle said: “Carsten has a proven track record in optimising operational and supply-chain processes—both of which are essential to the efficiencies and profitability of the DK business. At the same time, he has also demonstrated his skill at identifying and creating new channels and opportunities for business development in companies similarly sized and positioned to DK.
“With Carsten’s collaborative and open style of leadership, and the continued strong direction set by Rebecca Smart, Paul Kelly, Shaun Hodgkinson and our DK executive members, and especially with the commitment and expertise of our DK colleagues around the world, we can take the company to the next level.”