PRH to close French and German offices

PRH to close French and German offices

Penguin Random House UK is to close its Penguin Benelux and France and Penguin Germany offices, putting up to six roles at risk of redundancy, as part of a restructure of its international and group companies’ sales teams.

The changes involve the creation of two new international teams working across all PRH UK’s publishing lists, while from January 2015 DK and Penguin US (PGI) will assume responsibility from Penguin UK for their own sales into international markets. In conjunction with this, the restructured London teams will take on responsibility for the entire UK list in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The changes are being made to realign PRH’s “international strategies and to develop a consistent, best practice approach”. The two new international teams will be based at one London office from 2015.

As a result the Penguin Benelux and France office, covering Belgium, Netherlands, Luxemburg and France, and Penguin Germany will close and their administrative functions will move to London.

PRH UK will “continue to maintain a strong sales team based on the ground in these key territories”, and Penguin Spain and Penguin Italy remain unaffected by these changes. Those at risk of redundancy are now in a period of consultation.

Dean Chance, currently Penguin international sales director, has been appointed as PRH international sales director (Export) and will lead a team selling the entire Penguin Random House UK portfolio into those markets.

Chance has spent the last 13 years in sales and marketing roles within the Penguin Group and since becoming international sales director in 2009, has driven international strategy and managed teams based in the UK, France, Germany, Benelux, Spain, Italy and the UAE.

The other team will be led by Rob Waddington, who will expand his current Random House Group responsibilities to include Penguin as Penguin Random House international sales director (group companies). The group team will work on trading with PRH’s group companies in in Australia, New Zealand, India, South Africa and in North America.

Waddington has been a member of the company’s sales teams for 12 years, most recently as deputy international sales director and, prior to that, led the sales team behind EL James’ Fifty Shades trilogy.
The changes will affect office-based colleagues in the UK and continental Europe, as well as teams in Asia and the Middle East.

Mike Symons, group sales director at PRH UK, said: “We operate in an ever-changing and evolving marketplace and some of the biggest changes we have seen in recent years have been within our International and Group territories. Since becoming Penguin Random House we have taken time to consider how we best serve our customers, and the unique opportunities that the merger provides to realign our international strategies and to develop a consistent, best practice approach.”