Simon Johnson is to leave HarperCollins UK after seven years with the business as its group managing director. Johnson is to leave on an unspecified date in the future after what HarperCollins said would be a “thorough handover”.
An internal announcement was made this week by HarperCollins UK chief executive Charlie Redmayne, but neither Redmayne nor Johnson were available for additional comment. It is understood that Johnson has been recruited for a leadership position within another company, but no detail on this has yet been released.
Johnson joined HarperCollins UK in 2007, recruited by former HarperCollins chief executive Victoria Barnsley from a TV and theatre production company. Before that he worked at Goldman Sachs as both a quantitative analyst and a derivatives trader.
Johnson helped re-engineer how HarperCollins used data, using his training in maths to inform the publisher’s analysis of the growing e-book market and pricing strategies. In 2013 he told The Bookseller: “In digital, the market information isn’t as good as in physical, but if you have smart mathematicians you can derive good information from what’s available.” Johnson also led the recruitment of key HC executives such as global director of pricing and analytics Eloy Sasot, and Nick Perret, group director of strategy and digital. He was also involved in the day-to-day publishing side, especially in sales, rights, marketing and across the editorial teams.
HarperCollins would not say if they would look to replace Johnson, with a spokesperson saying that he would be leaving a strong, well-briefed, team behind him. In early 2015 HarperCollins UK is relocating from Fulham Palace Road to The Place, nicknamed "The Baby Shard", and based in London Bridge, East London.