Neil Morrison is leaving Penguin Random House UK to become director of human resources for Severn Trent PLC, a FTSE Top 100 company with 12,000 employees. Morrison, formerly group HR director, who became director of culture, strategy and innovation at PRH UK in September 2016, will leave the publisher to take up his new role in June.
Morrison has been with Random House and then Penguin Random House since 2008. During that time he worked on the preparation for the merger and is credited with playing a major role in successfully bringing the Penguin and Random House businesses together. He also worked on initiatives at PRH to make the industry more inclusive, such as its entry-level recruitment programme The Scheme, the removal of academic qualifications from all its recruitment, overhauling work experience, now a structured and fully paid two-week learning programme, and creating the "Job Hack" programme, providing interactive workshops for 18-24 year olds to demystify publishing.
Morrison also launched and developed a dedicated Learning and Development Academy introducing "unconscious bias" training and an internal coaching programme.
PRH UK c.e.o. Tom Weldon said: “Neil has contributed enormously to the company over the last nine years. He brings an unusual combination of intellectual clarity and emotional sensitivity to everything he does, and he understands in a highly sophisticated way how people and culture can drive a business forward. We wish him much happiness and success in his new role.”
Morrison added: “The last nine years have been an amazing part of my career. I have loved working with such passionate and committed colleagues at a really fascinating time for the industry, and particularly having the opportunity to work on the formation of Penguin Random House with Tom and the leadership team. Penguin Random House is a brilliant company, full of hugely talented people and it has been a privilege to work with them."
Morrison is not being replaced. According to PRH, his areas of responsibility will now report into Tom Weldon. Val Garside continues as HR director.