Bad day for Penguin as new man takes over

Click to follow
The Independent Online
In the latest chapter of the publishing world's roller-coaster tale of executive seat-swapping, former financial journalist Duncan Campbell- Smith was yesterday appointed head of group strategy for Penguin, just as the troubled publishing house announced pounds 100m financial irregularities.

Mr Campbell-Smith, 46, has been made responsible for "clarifying key strategic issues" for the group, which has seen a major reshuffle of senior editing staff in recent months.

The former editor of the Financial Times' Lex column had a foretaste of trouble when he took charge of corporate relations for Pearson while its software arm, Mindscape, was heading for losses of pounds 46m. But he stepped out of the fray to attend an MBA course at the London Business School and then moved to Penguin, a subsidiary of Pearson, as business development director last May.

He was a journalist at the Financial Times for seven years before working as a management consultant. He is also the author of a book on the privatisation of British Airways, published in 1986.

The publishing world has lately been enlivened with gossip generated by job-swapping in the upper echelons of the business. The top job at Penguin Group was recently taken by Helen Fraser, formerly MD of the Reed Group of publishers, while Clare Alexander, who headed Viking, Penguin's classy-but-popular imprint, quit to join Macmillan.