Susan Jurevics stands down as Pottermore chief executive

Susan Jurevics stands down as Pottermore chief executive

Pottermore chief executive Susan Jurevics will leave the company at the end of February.

J K Rowling's company for digital books will not be appointing a new c.e.o. and overall control of the business will remain with her agent and chairman Neil Blair, the firm said.

Instead, increased responsibility will be given to the remaining management team. The company's various workstreams will be split between e-commerce director Verity Batchelder, publishing director Gillian Laskier, and digital director Henriette Stuart-Reckling. They will each have responsibility for the day-to-day operations of their respective lines of business, supported by group finance director Jemma Hill, and group managing director Jenny Phillips and Tom Greene, director of strategy and operations.

Jurevics has been at the helm of the company since 2013 and introduced a “successful” new strategy in 2015 which saw the company make its content available globally through online retailers such as Amazon, Apple, Audible, Barnes & Noble, Google and Kobo. The company's sales more than doubled to £15.1m in the year-to-end March 2016, compared to £7m a year earlier, when it also made a £4.7m loss. No details have been given about where Jurevics will move next.

Blair praised her work as c.e.o. of Pottermore, saying her implementation of the new business strategy and development of new commercial partnerships have helped deliver an “excellent” financial performance along with "beautiful" and award-winning digital products, features and campaign.

He added: “After three years as chief executive, Susan leaves the business in incredible shape. Under her leadership, we’re proud of what Pottermore has achieved in recent years. Her commitment, creativity and dedication to the business have been fantastic and we are all immensely grateful for everything that she has done and achieved. We wish her well for the future.”

Jurevics said: “It’s been a joy working at Pottermore and taking the company to the next level. As J K. Rowling’s Wizarding World has expanded, we repositioned Pottermore’s brand and business strategy, doubled our revenues, expanded our retail relationships, and launched new digital publishing products and features. I’m proud of the team’s extraordinary work, which has been validated by both our financial results and our industry awards. Because I accomplished what I set out to do when I joined Pottermore in 2013, now is a great time for me to explore the next chapter in my career.”

Prior to joining Pottermore, Jurevics held senior roles in entertainment and media for over two decades at consumer brands including Sony, Mattel and Nickelodeon.

Separately, Dan Marks has retired from the board. He has been replaced by Jenny Phillips. Anouska Spiers, group general counsel, remains a board director.

Approaching the financial year end (31st March 2017), the company says its current trading remains strong, with a strong pipeline of new content and “robust” longer-term prospects. Pottermore will publish a new edition of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them on 14th March, which inspired last year’s movie of the same name and will include a new foreword from J K. Rowling. An audio book version of the same title, narrated by Academy Award-winning actor Eddie Redmayne, will also be published on 14th March.

As reported in November, Pottermore expects to report a return to profitability when its accounts are published later in the year.