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Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Bloomsbury initiates a positive and far-reaching response to the challenge of the digital age

Publisher's Lunch reports that Bloomsbury is to reorganize into an international conglomerate, dropping country focus for global publishing divisions

The company announced a worldwide reorganization, effective March 1, that eliminates their geographically-driven structure and replaces it with four global publishing divisions.

  •  adult (run by Richard Charkin)
  • children's & educational (which will be looked after by Macmillan UK Children's managing director Emma Hopkin)
  • academic & professional (under Jonathan Glasspool)
  • information & business development (still headed by Kathy Rooney).

Their offices in the UK, USA, Germany and, most recently, Australia, will each serve the four publishing divisions.

Will their executives be spending as much time in planes as lesser beings spend in cars?  Hopefully not.  After all, it is a response to the opportunities of the internet, as well as the challenge of the digital revolution.
Chief executive Nigel Newton says in the announcement, "The global market place is changing rapidly, with a dramatic increase in digital publishing and global customers, such as Amazon, Google and Apple, who are not focused within national boundaries. For Bloomsbury to take best advantage of this, we are restructuring on a global basis to better maximixe the opportunities the future will bring. We believe this will give us a real advantage in our mission to publish books of excellence and originality."

The move is certainly revolutionary.  Charkin adds that he believes Bloomsbury is the first trade publisher of scale to reorganize itself in global fashion like this. "Digital technology is affecting everyone irrespective of where they sit" among Bloomsbury's offices, Charkin said. "Our biggest customers are now global and we need to reflect their global nature as well as our own." In the future, the company's financial reports will add data according to the four new divisions.

Let's hope it works better than the digitization of the National Archives ....

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