Following 1) news of Pearson’s 6 percent drop in annual profits — blamed mostly on “the weakness of the US dollar and a difficult holiday season for its Penguin consumer book unit” — and 2) the surprise resignation of its chairman, Dennis Stevenson, we get 3) a mysterious round of firings last Friday at Penguin and its imprints, reported first by PW:
Ahead of what many expect will be a sobering call next week with Penguin’s John Makinson and David Shanks, the company has laid off a number of back-office and sales positions, sources say. No exact number as yet, but the cuts reportedly come at Viking and Putnam in the U.S. as well as other divisions at Penguin U.K. At least one notable layoff stateside comes relatively high in the sales department. The company declined to comment.
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