Dorling's new chief will drive for growth

DORLING KINDERSLEY, the publisher of illustrated reference and educational books, is splitting the role of its chairman and chief executive, Peter Kindersley, and losing its managing director, Rod Hare, after a rough two years punctuated by four profits warnings.

After looking around for nine months with the help of headhunters, the chairman and leading shareholder, Peter Kindersley, is dropping the chief executive role in favour of a whiz-kid marketing man, James Middlehurst, 41, who has been managing director of Polygram's Britannia Music arm for the past five years. Mr Middlehurst drove Britannia's sales up fivefold from pounds 40m to pounds 200m.

The appointment has clarified the position of Rod Hare, 37, who "didn't feel that a new chief executive and managing director could co-exist." He is leaving in September with a pay-off of around pounds 260,000. Mr Hare said had "been with Dorling for 11 years and has been thinking about a change of direction".

Mr Kindersley, who has had to announce two successive setbacks in profits, from pounds 12.9m to pounds 7.7m in 1996/97 and from pounds 6.7m to pounds 4m in the first half of this year, says that at 57 he is ready to step back from day-to-day management.

He will concentrate on creative product ideas, motivating staff around the world and looking outside the company at the marketplace. Mr Middlehurst will be in charge of day-to-day management and strategy.

The board said they appeared to have found "the ideal man to drive the business forward in growth mode". In addition to his job at Britannia, Mr Middlehurst ran Time-Life Books' UK operations between 1983 and 1987 and was marketing chief at Magnet from 1987 to 1989 and at Allied Irish Banks from 1989 to 1993.

Dorling lost its finance director and head of US operations last year when it was hit by the strong pound and slow growth in America. It took a hit of pounds 2.5m when it axed 280 jobs in London, but said it would make annual savings of pounds 3.5m as a result.

Dorling Kindersley shares edged up by 0.5p to 216.5p on the news of the boardroom shake-up. They have fallen back from a peak of 306.5p last October, despite forecasts by stockbrokers of a second-half recovery after cost- cutting that is expected to revive profits from pounds 7.7m to pounds 8.8m in the year to June.

The results will be announced in mid-September.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
people
News
John Rees-Evans is standing for Ukip in Cardiff South and Penarth
news
Arts and Entertainment
Bianca Miller and Katie Bulmer-Cooke are scrutinised by Lord Sugar's aide Nick Hewer on The Apprentice final
tvBut Bianca Miller has taken on board his comments over pricing
Life and Style
Approaching sale shopping in a smart way means that you’ll get the most out of your money
life + styleSales shopping tips and tricks from the experts
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
News
in picturesWounded and mangy husky puppy rescued from dump
Sport
David Silva, Andy Carroll, Arsene Wenger and Radamel Falcao
football
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - LONDON

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000 + Car + Pension: SThree: SThree are a ...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K: SThree: We consistently strive to be the...

SThree: Graduate Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 b...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K - £45K: SThree: SThree Group have been we...

Day In a Page

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'