In a dramatic turnaround, HarperCollins announced this morning that it is closing its Collins division and integrating its operations within different businesses in the General Books Group. As a result, Steve Ross, president and publisher of Collins, and Lisa Gallagher, senior v-p, and publisher of William Morrow, are leaving the company. Ross was brought over by Jane Friedman two years ago from Crown to rebuild the Collins brand. In addition to closing Collins, CEO Brian Murray issued a memo today saying that despite efforts to avoid layoffs, a reduction in the workforce will be necessary. “Given the continued uncertainty in the market and soft revenues for the company, we need to take further action to align our cost basis with expected revenues,” Murray wrote. “I have asked each division to evaluate their business and begin the process to meet this goal. Unfortunately, in some HarperCollins divisions, implementing these plans will result in a reduction in workforce.”
Click through the link to see the restructuring - it is truly incredible. I dare anyone to chart that mess of re-alignments!
Good luck, though, to the employees lost along the way, as well as the authors whose projects get orphaned. This is tough for both.
(As for the employees, have you been noticing the section of the Daily PW emails that includes contact info for people recently laid off? A useful service, of course, but so tragic!)