According to multiple media reports, Pottermore CEO Charlie Redmayne has left the company to become CEO of HarperCollins UK, replacing Victoria Barnsley, who had been at the publisher and in the position of CEO for 13 years. The move comes two years after Redmayne left his position as chief digital officer of HarperCollins to head Pottermore, the Harry Potter digital destination. Redmayne will report to Brian Murray, HarperCollins worldwide CEO.
Redmayne made headlines in the book publishing world in March 2012 when he successfully led the launch of Pottermore, where readers could buy Harry Potter ebooks for the first time. One publishing consultant said Pottermore “changed the game” because it sold books directly to readers, forcing Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other retailers to sell as a third party and then refer customers to Pottermore for download. One point of contention between publishers and ebook retailers is who controls the customer relationship and data. In this case, the publisher won.
Redmayne later went on to claim that other mega brands like Harry Potter could do what Pottermore did in forcing the big retailers to play by their rules. In June of this year, the company announced that it had launched a business to help other brands do so.
Reportedly, Barnsley is leaving the company of her own accord. The change comes just days after HarperCollins, along with Dow Jones, publisher of the Wall Street Journal, and other print-centric businesses, split with what had formerly been known as News Corp. The new company is also known as News Corp and the businesses it was spun off from, BskyB, Fox and others, are now known as 20th Century Fox.