Octopus consultation ends with substantial job losses

<p>Octopus is to lose nearly 30% of its staff, and plans &#8232;to cut its frontlist by the same amount from 2012 onwards, following the end of the consultation period <a href="../news/117778-octopus-consults-over-further-job-losses.html" target="_blank">announced earlier this year.</a> </p><p>A total of 29 staff, out of 104 employees, will leave the company. Of these, 10 are voluntary redundancy. </p><p>Although some staff have already left the publisher, the departures will continue until the end of the year as existing projects come to an end. The consultation process was triggered by &ldquo;the continued downturn in the markets for illustrated and reference books&rdquo;.</p><p>Octopus has not cancelled any titles already under contract, but from 2012 will cut output by 30%. Its future focus will be on established areas including food, wine and lifestyle and particularly in series publishing.</p><p>A number of positions have been shifted around a new vertical structure including Lorraine Dickey, who moves from publisher of Conran Octopus to publisher of home and lifestyle titles across all imprints. Jonathan Christie, formerly art director of Conran Octopus, has been &#8232;promoted to group art &#8232;director. Commissioning editors will report to Denise Bates, group publishing director, working across imprints.</p><p>Octopus c.e.o. Alison Goff said: &ldquo;I am enormously grateful to all our staff for the way in which they have continued to work and shown true professionalism and dedication to their authors. Whilst market conditions remain tough there are some encouraging signs and our forward programme is being very well-received.&rdquo;</p>