Symons and Telfer to lead PRH sales and consumer teams

Symons and Telfer to lead PRH sales and consumer teams

Penguin Random House UK has announced a new sales leadership structure, and a new team bringing together its digital, audio and consumer insight operations to better understand consumers and champion “experimental digital publishing”.

Mike Symons [pictured, right] has been appointed as group sales director (UK and international), with Garry Prior made UK sales director. Meanwhile Hannah Telfer [pictured, left] will lead the combined digital, audio and insight team, taking on the role of group director, consumer and digital development.

Other changes include the departure of Anna Rafferty, Penguin digital m.d., who will leave the company after 10 years.

Ian Hudson, deputy c.e.o. of PRH UK, said: “I’m sorry to have to announce that Anna is leaving. Anna has been the guiding light for Penguin Digital and she justly deserves her high industry profile as a future-thinking digital expert.  

“We must thank her for nurturing and instilling a digital passion in the Penguin business and it is heartening to know that she is very supportive of our plans. I am sure I speak for us all in wishing her the very best for her future."

Symons, who will report to Hudson, has been Penguin Group sales director since 2007 with responsibility for the UK, digital and international markets for the Penguin business. He will now lead the teams selling into the UK and international markets.  Penguin and Random House international sales directors Dean Chance and Simon Littlewood will report to Symons.

Prior, currently Random House Group UK sales director, will report to Symons and will lead the UK sales teams across PRH UK. Naomi Fidler, UK sales director, Penguin, will report to Prior and will continue to run the adult and children’s sales team within Penguin and will add responsibility for the Penguin Special Sales team to her remit.  Ed Christie, UK sales director, Random House, will continue reporting to Prior, and will add the responsibility for Random House Sales Development to his role.

Tom Chicken, Penguin UK digital sales director, is appointed to the new role of Penguin Random House UK digital sales director and will assume responsibility for UK e-book sales for the whole of Penguin Random House UK.

Nigel Waters, Random House group commercial director, who currently leads commercial e-book negotiations across Penguin Random House UK and who, with Ben Wright, Random House director digital sales and channel development, has driven international sales growth for Random House, will extend his responsibility across all e-book sales in international markets.

John Faiers, Penguin Group field sales director, will now report to Prior and he will continue to run the Penguin Field team. There is no change for Kevin Redmond, Random House, group UK field sales director.

Brian Davies, Random House, head of operations (UK and overseas) hands his sales responsibilities to Symons and will focus specifically on the integration of the company’s UK IT and distribution systems, as well as developing Penguin and Random House Struik businesses in South Africa while continuing to work closely with Penguin Random House India.

Hudson said: “Since we became Penguin Random House, teams across our merged company have been working together creatively to share their knowledge, develop new strategies and take advantage of shared opportunities. Nowhere has this been more true than in our sales divisions. I am delighted that both Mike and Garry have accepted their new roles which will help our sales teams work even more closely together to achieve our business goals. I am sure everyone will join me in congratulating both Mike and Garry and all our sales colleagues as we wish them every success in the future.”

Telfer, previously Random House’s director of digital marketing and new product development, will “lead her team in creating and managing a first class infrastructure of digital tools, marketing data and consumer insight; capturing the benefits of scale and enabling a successful audience development strategy across the company”.  The team will “champion experimental digital publishing and the overall consumer experience”. Telfer will report to Hudson.

Graham Sim, currently creative director for Penguin Children's, adds brand director, PRH UK, to his role. He will be focus on developing how the Penguin Random House brand engages both internally and with the audience development strategy. Sim will report to Tom Weldon, PRH UK c.e.o.

Paul Kelly, currently Random House strategy director, becomes group strategy director for PRH UK, and will also report to Hudson.

Kelly will lead the group strategy and data and insight teams and will be responsible for development and implementation of group strategy, corporate development and new strategic initiatives as well as PRH UK’s consumer and market data strategy.

Hudson said: “We now look to Hannah, Graham and Paul to harness all the knowledge and expertise we have across our new business to join up our centres of excellence across digital, brand and strategy. As we transition from a world of browse and display to online search and recommendation, it is more important than ever that we have a clear, planned and deliverable approach to reaching, engaging, retaining and growing all our audiences.

 “This is our unique opportunity for Penguin Random House UK to come together across our publishing businesses as one company around the consumer. We are in effect creating the blueprint for a publisher as a consumer brand.”