Bob Miller will leave his position as group publisher of Workman Publishing effective April 5, according to a company memo obtained by Digital Book World. Miller had been at the helm at the New York-based publishers of trade and illustrated titles for three years.
At Workman, he is credited with launching Algonquin Young Readers, relaunching Brain Quest, and building the company’s digital department. He will stay on as a consultant until June, according to the memo from Workman secretary Carolan Workman, wife of the founder, president and CEO Peter Workman.
Peter, according to the memo, is too ill to resume his involvement in the company. Following Miller’s departure, Susan Bolotin will take over in the interim.
Miller joined Workman three years ago this March from HarperStudio, an experimental imprint within HarperCollins that sought to change the publishing business model with different kinds of advances and payouts and different kids of relationships with booksellers. At the time, it was thought that Miller was being groomed to take over the company from Peter Workman, as the founder told the New York Times, “Mr. Miller, 53, ‘replaces me,’ said Mr. Workman. ‘I am not going anywhere, but it’s the beginning of a form of succession.'”
Miller told Publishers Lunch in response to his dismissal from the company, “I’m very sorry to be leaving Workman. It’s a remarkable company with a staff I’ve grown to love over the past three years. I’m only sad it won’t be longer.”
Related: Miller Talks Workman at BEA
It is with much regret that Peter and I announce that Robert S. Miller is leaving Workman Publishing, effective April 5th. We part with mutual respect and friendship, and the hope that our paths as publishers and colleagues will cross frequently over the years.
As Group Publisher during these past three years, Bob has overseen the continued health and growth of Workman and its imprints. He was instrumental in developing and expanding Workman’s digital department. Additionally, he made smart hires, solidified the marketing department, helped oversee the launch of the new Algonquin Young Readers imprint and the relaunch of Brain Quest, and shepherded new titles that reached bestsellerdom.
We are also grateful that Bob has agreed to stay on as a consultant for ongoing projects until June.
For the immediate future, Susan Bolotin will serve as acting publisher of the Workman imprint. She will be part of a small management team of people who have been a mainstay of Workman’s success over the years. Katie Workman and I will continue to be active participants. Peter, Katie, and I are confident that this arrangement will enable our company to move forward energetically and effectively, and give us the time necessary to make the best decisions for our future as an independent, family-owned company.
To that point, it is time to acknowledge that Peter’s health will not allow him to return to Workman in any significant capacity. He is comfortable with the management team in place and is confident that, in our hands, Workman will continue to thrive.
Carolan R. Workman