The Bookseller - 09.06.11 | Charlotte WilliamsMurdoch Books has further restructured its workforce following owner Matt Handbury's move into the role of c.e.o. last week.
Christine Jones will become managing director of Murdoch Books UK, which has its UK offices in Putney, south-west London, moving from her role as sales and marketing director, with the role of sales manager now created.
The independent company will also now publish fewer titles each year, hoping to output 140 titles between July 2011 and June 2012, its financial year, with this figure dropping by about another 20 titles between June 2012 and July 2013.
Jones added that this will depend on "the market realities, but we will be focusing our efforts much more on our UK and North American businesses, both of which include a lot of packaging and rights sales not included in these totals".
Murdoch Books Australia has appointed Deborah Brash, previously art director of Penguin Australia, to the role of creative director, with Lynn Lewis appointed publisher, Lifestyle, and Melanie Ostell appointed publisher for the Pier 9 list. Publicist Shannon Blanchard also joined the publishing team as publisher, Authored Food.
The company has also established a separate marketing department under ex-Warner Music executive Mark Ashbridge.
C.e.o. Matt Handbury said: "The difficult trading conditions which have emerged since mid-2010 have focused the company's efforts on doing the best job possible on fewer books.
"Now is the time for us to be very clear about delivering on the company's unique ability to produce titles which surprise and delight purchasers and readers in their appearance, format and overall presentations."
He added: "Several senior publishing appointments have been made recently and more will follow shortly to further enhance our capability in this direction, and our sales and marketing capacity have also been strengthened."
Handbury also said that one further senior publishing appointment was soon to be confirmed.
The publisher is a specialist in food and illustrated titles with its head office in Sydney.