Head of Zeus c.e.o. Amanda Ridout has resigned from her position and will be leaving the company at the end of the month. She will continue to serve on the board thereafter, as a non-executive director.
Former c.e.o. and current chairman Anthony Cheetham will assume the joint role of chairman and c.e.o. Ridout declined to respond to further questions when approached by The Bookseller. Cheetham did not return phonecalls.
In the press statement Cheetham said: “Amanda has been at the helm for four years during which her formidable energy, commitment and leadership have contributed to our growth as a leading independent in British publishing. Together with my fellow directors, I thank her for her contribution, and wish her every success in the future.”
Head of Zeus was founded by Cheetham in 2012 and Ridout joined the company as c.e.o. in 2013. Prior to that she was m.d. at Phaidon Press, Headline and HarperCollins.
In the statement, Ridout said: “I want to thank the wonderful Head of Zeus team and our brilliant authors for all the success and fun we have had together. I look forward to continuing our relationship as a non-executive director, and watching the company grow and prosper.”
Head of Zeus was named independent publisher of the year at the British Book Awards in 2017. Recent results for the publisher revealed that the company’s 2016 revenues increased by 31%, to £7m, up from £5.4m in 2015.
Along with founding Head of Zeus, Cheetham has also founded or run Orion, Abacus, Futura, Century, Quercus and Corvus and has a history of disputes at the boardroom level.
Cheetham left Century and Orion after selling the companies, but moved from Quercus to Atlantic in 2009 after a bitter break with the rest of the Quercus board—including accusations that Cheetham had overpaid for books from authors represented by his agent wife, Georgina Capel of Capel & Land.
In a Bookseller interview in 2012 charting Cheetham’s history with the publishers he has founded, Cheetham acknowledged there was some bad blood between himself and Atlantic. While he did not go into details, he said: “Let’s just say I didn’t want Atlantic to be my last memory of publishing."
In that same interview, he said: ”I’m 69 years old; it’s about succession planning… When I do step down there will be a smooth transition."