On paidContent, Laura Hazard Owen reports that Charlie Redmayne has just boarded the Hogwarts Express to take him back to the land of the muggles. He’s stepping down as CEO of Pottermore and taking the CEO helm of HarperCollins. Prior to helping found Pottermore in 2011, Redmayne was EVP and chief digital officer for HarperCollins.
One reason for the change is that Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp just spun its publishing arm, including HC, off into a separate company, and the previous CEO, Victoria Barnsley, felt it was a good time to leave. Pottermore’s CTO Julian Thomas will serve as CEO pro tem until the site can find a new permanent chief exec.
Owen thinks that the departure will raise questions about how well Pottermore is still doing—is he leaving a sinking ship? But I would tend to doubt it. The Harry Potter phenomenon still has legs, and Redmayne recently told The Bookseller that e-book sales are “still a very significant figure each month.” I expect he just found the chance to take top slot at his old stomping grounds too attractive to resist.
Best of luck to Redmayne in his new slot, and to Pottermore in filling his old one!