Christian Retailing

Thomas Nelson and IBS-STL make leadership changes Print Email
Written by By DeWayne Hamby and Andy Butcher   
Monday, 20 April 2009 12:38 PM America/New_York
Executive steps down in publisher’s restructuring, economy forces group’s reorganization

In a move said to be designed to more tightly align the company’s sales, marketing and publishing efforts, Thomas Nelson recently made changes to its executive leadership team. Meanwhile, IBS-STL also recently announced a series of leadership changes for the international publishing and distribution group’s U.K. operations.

altA former Borders executive who joined Nelson four years ago, Tami Heim stepped down in late March as executive vice president and chief publishing officer for the Nashville-based publisher, while Mark Schoenwald—formerly chief sales officer—was promoted to president and chief operating officer. Meanwhile, Michael Hyatt relinquished his title as president, but he will continue to serve as CEO—focusing more on author relations, acquisitions and product development.

“This structure will free me up to be more directly involved in working with our authors to create the most compelling products and marketing possible,” Hyatt said on his blog. “Mark will handle the day-to-day aspects of publishing.”

Heim told Christian Retailing she was “sad to be leaving an amazing family at Thomas Nelson,” but she had “great excitement toward the future and the next assignment God has planned for me. I leave feeling only love and appreciation for this experience and all the people.” Heim added that she had no immediate plans, but was “taking some time to wait on God.”

No other jobs were impacted in the leadership changes, but Nelson has not ruled out future streamlining. “As we consolidate the publishing and sales team under Mark, we might find some job duplication … and will respond accordingly,” said Lindsey Nobles, director of corporate communications.

Nelson terminated 54 employees in December due to the slowdown in the economy. The publisher also cut 60 jobs last April as a result of the company’s decision to reduce the number of new titles.

Keith Danby, global CEO of IBS-STL, has established a six-strong senior management team for IBS-STL U.K., where he resumed CEO responsibilities in late 2008 after troubles for the operation.

Detailing the changes in a letter to industry leaders in April, Danby said the economic challenges that had hit IBS-STL UK and other organizations had been compounded by difficulties with a new computer system, whose installation in October “did not go as smoothly as we would have liked and, indeed, caused problems for our suppliers and customers.” Though some issues still had to be resolved, significant improvements had been made.

Under the new management structure, David Young will serve as general manager and director of human resources, coordinating day-to-day operations in the U.K. as Danby continues to travel in his ongoing role with IBS-STL Global.

As part of the changes, Malcolm Stockdale is stepping down as managing director of ISB-STL U.K.’s Wesley Owen stores to head up a new IBS-STL U.K. joint venture with a Christian Web company.