Pottermore Management Changes and Business Update
1 February 2017
London, England - Pottermore, the digital content company for author J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, announced that the company’s Chief Executive Officer Susan L. Jurevics will be stepping down at the end of February. Overall control of the business remains with Chairman Neil Blair.
CEO since 2013, Susan introduced a successful new strategy in 2015, which saw the company make its content available globally through online retailers such as Amazon, Apple, Audible, Barnes & Noble, Google and Kobo. This led to revenues more than doubling in Pottermore’s most recently completed financial year (2015/16).
Given the strength of the remaining management team, the company does not intend to appoint a new CEO. Instead, the various workstreams will be split between Verity Batchelder, eCommerce Director, Gillian Laskier, Publishing Director, and Henriette Stuart-Reckling, Digital Director. They will each have responsibility for the day-to-day operations of their respective lines of business, supported by Jemma Hill, Group Finance Director, Jenny Phillips, Group Managing Director and Tom Greene, Director of Strategy & Operations.
Separately, the company announced that Jenny Phillips has joined the board. Anouska Spiers, Group General Counsel remains a Board Director.
Approaching the financial year end (31st March 2017), current trading remains strong. As reported in November, Pottermore expects to report a return to profitability when its accounts are published later in the year.
The company has a strong pipeline of new content and its longer-term prospects remain robust. The company will publish a new edition of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them on March 14, which inspired last year’s movie of the same name and will include a new foreword from J.K. Rowling. An audio book version of the same title, narrated by Academy Award-winning actor Eddie Redmayne, will also be published on 14 March.
“After three years as CEO, Susan leaves the business in incredible shape, having put in place a new business strategy and forged new commercial partnerships that have helped deliver an excellent financial performance along with beautiful and award-winning digital products, features and campaigns,” said Neil Blair, Chairman of Pottermore. “Under her leadership, we’re proud of what Pottermore has achieved in recent years. Her commitment, creativity and dedication to the business have been fantastic and we are all immensely grateful for everything that she has done and achieved. We wish her well for the future.”
“It’s been a joy working at Pottermore and taking the company to the next level,” said Jurevics. “As J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World has expanded, we repositioned Pottermore’s brand and business strategy, doubled our revenues, expanded our retail relationships, and launched new digital publishing products and features. I’m proud of the team’s extraordinary work, which has been validated by both our financial results and our industry awards. Because I accomplished what I set out to do when I joined Pottermore in 2013, now is a great time for me to explore the next chapter in my career.”
Notes to editors
1. Founded in 2012, Pottermore holds, manages and develops digital content for the Wizarding World franchise of author J.K. Rowling. This includes the original Harry Potter series in both eBook and digital audiobook form as well as enhanced editions for Apple devices via iBooks. It also includes eBook versions of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Parts One and Two script, and the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them screenplay, as well as other content such as the three Hogwarts Library Books and the Pottermore Presents … series of eBook shorts. The physical book rights to these are not owned by Pottermore.
2. For the 12 months to 31 March 2016, the most recently announced figures, Pottermore reported revenue more than doubled to £15.1m (year to 31 March 2015: £7.0m) following a significant increase in sales of eBooks and digital audiobooks. This reflects the introduction of a new strategy in 2015, which saw Pottermore make its content available globally through online retailers such as Amazon, Apple, Audible, Barnes Noble, Google and Kobo.
3. 2017 will be the twentieth anniversary of the release of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in the UK and Commonwealth and the fifth anniversary of Pottermore. Pottermore continues to develop and manage digital content around the original books, as well as new content such as theatre and film scripts. Given its track record to date, the directors have a high degree of confidence that the company will be able to curate the Harry Potter archive in a creative and profitable way over the long-term.
4. Rights relating to J.K Rowling’s non-Wizarding World titles - The Casual Vacancy and novels published under the Robert Galbraith moniker – are not part of the Pottermore stable.
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