05 May 2023
Andrew Franklin, Founder and Managing Director of Profile Books, is stepping back from running the company on 1 July 2023. Rebecca Gray, currently Non-Fiction Publisher, will take over from that date. This change allows Andrew the opportunity to return to his first love – acquiring, editing and publishing books, at the same time as being able to support the company as it moves to its next phase. This is part of a wider plan to ensure the company’s future as a thriving independent. Alongside Rebecca as Managing Director, Claire Beaumont, currently Sales Director, will take up leadership of the marketing and publicity teams too as Commercial Director. With them, Frances Ford as Finance Director and Jack Murphy as Pre-Press and Production Director make up the Executive team, responsible for the day to day running of the company. Andrew will also remain on the Executive team for the time being, with the title Founder Director.
Andrew Franklin said: ‘I have always said I will retire on or before April 2026 when Profile will be 30. That remains the case, but it would have been negligent to wait until then to make a plan for the future. I am confident that I’m handing over to a group of exceptional people who know the company well and believe as strongly as I do in what we do. And of course the best part is that I am not going anywhere. I am still as attached to my authors, the books and Profile as ever. My family own the majority of the company and I will never stop caring passionately about my colleagues, the sales and the campaigns. I have enjoyed almost every day of the job but as one of our authors said: ‘it is much better to go when people ask “why?” rather than “when?”’ I am delighted that Rebecca has agreed to succeed me. I have always said that my successor must be an editor, and I wanted to hand the leadership of the company over to someone who has Profile in their bones and values its independence as much as I do. I think Rebecca is that person and have done for some time. She is a brilliant editor, publisher and leader. She is thoughtful, shrewd, entrepreneurial and wise. Most of all, she believes that we have the best books, authors and staff in the business. And I know she’s right. Claire Beaumont is the industry’s best sales director by a country mile and I am grateful for her commitment to Profile, which has had an enormous influence on the company’s success. She sees opportunities everywhere, and contributes as much to the publishing of our books as she does to selling them. Her vision is unmatched. Finally, I am sorry to disappoint everyone, but there won’t be a party because I am not retiring. You’ll have to wait for that one. Meanwhile, we can all celebrate, as we always do, at our summer party in June.’
Rebecca Gray said: ‘It’s an absolute honour to be trusted by Andrew to take Profile into the future. His shoes are implausibly large: he is an inspiring, if occasionally stubborn, leader, and a smart, disciplined managing director. But a company, if it is to survive in the long term, has to be the sum of many people, not just one, and we are extremely lucky to have so many excellent people here. It’s an unusual opportunity: the company is well-run and has an exceptionally strong foundation. As MD, I will be able to continue to acquire and publish books as well as running the business. I love my authors, and I love my colleagues, both within the company and in the wider trade. Most of all, I believe deeply in what we do. So I think that, together, we’ve got exciting times ahead – and we’ll enjoy ourselves along the way. Which has always been the spirit of Profile.’
Claire Beaumont said: ‘Profile is my home, mostly happy and always eventful, never more so than when I was trying to save a precious reprint of Eats, Shoots and Leaves from a flood on Christmas Eve. Andrew is incredibly supportive and patient, allowing me to tell him what we need to do to sell our books and sometimes even what the books should be. He’s also driven me completely bonkers for twenty years, but he’s a genius and a rebel, so I was never going to go anywhere else. We have gone from being five people to over sixty, from twenty books a year to 120, and now along with the rest of the company and executive team, Rebecca and I are ready for the next phase, cooking up exciting plans for our authors. I can’t wait to see what we do next. My feeling is that MURDLE will be the word – and the book – of the summer!’
For more information or further comment please contact Kate McQuaid, Publicity Director – email@example.com