Stephen Barr, president of SAGE International, has been elected as the new president of the Publishers Association.
Barr, previously vice president, will succeed Joanna Prior, managing director of Penguin General Books, who remains as an officer on the PA Council.
The PA’s a.g.m. took place today (18th May) at the Institute for Contemporary Arts, which saw Lis Tribe, managing director for Hodder Education, elected as vice president.
In addition, changes to the chairmanship of PA boards included the appointment of Alicia Wise of Elsevier as chair of the newly renamed Academic, Professional and Learning Publishers Council, and William Bowes of Cambridge University Press, who was appointed chair of the International Board.
Barr drew attention to "important challenges" the industry needed to address, including defending copyright and broadening the pool of talent within the publishing workforce.
He said: “The Publishers Association plays an essential role as the collective voice for the publishing community in the UK, at a time when that voice is needed more than ever before. During my term as president of the PA, I hope to support the association’s skilled and expert team in continuing to make the case for publishing as an innovative and dynamically changing industry which makes a vital contribution to the UK’s culture, society and economy.
“The UK publishing industry, as reported by The PA last week, is in good health with growing revenues of £4.4bn, 42% coming from exports. Publishing is a longstanding UK success story, and UK authors and publishers have a global reach. Publishing has changed dramatically over the last decade to become a dynamic space in which traditional business models are combined with e-books, websites, online communities and new digital publishing models in a diverse and rapidly changing environment.
“There remain important challenges to address: defending copyright as the key to building a sustainable infrastructure to support quality publishing; telling the story of publishing to a wider audience; and supporting the publishing industry in working to broaden the range of applicants to publishing careers and enhance the diversity of the publishing workforce. I look forward to working with the PA executive team and colleagues in the industry in pursuing these goals.”