Thursday, December 20, 2012

THE LAST OF THE GOOD GUYS - long-serving NZ MD to stand down

Unfortunately, the very sad day has come when I have to announce the retirement of our long serving New Zealand Managing Director and Macmillan Publishers Australia board member, the inimitable David Joel.

David's career in publishing began at McGraw-Hill in 1964, servicing NZ, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia as a "college traveller".  After a stint at Rigby he joined Forlib in 1975, which led to a job at William Collins as their Pan Books and Fontana Manager, which was followed by a promotion as their Victorian Manager.  He joined Macmillan as Distribution Manager in 1980.

In January 1982 he was asked to go to New Zealand ' to hold the fort' for three weeks after the sudden departure of the then Managing Director.  David was appointed Managing Director in 1984 and has been 'holding the fort' brilliantly for Macmillan in New Zealand ever since.  So, I am delighted to be able to report that on March 29, 2013, David's three week’s work will be complete, albeit a mere 31 years behind schedule.  The hallmark of David's management has always been his slow and steady hand!  

Whilst David's retirement is still a few months away, I cannot let this moment pass without saying something about what a wonderful colleague, great friend, and supporter he has been to so many of us over the years, as well as his gentlemanly manner and style, his good humour, unflappable demeanour and importantly his shrewd business acumen that has seen him consistently produce excellent results out of an always challenging market. His wise counsel will be sorely missed by many of us.

David has commented, " It has been a great privilege to have been responsible for Macmillan's New Zealand's activities for the last 30 years. There have been some wonderful times with fantastic books, and many memorable author visits. We have also enjoyed much success in the education market over many years, and have always been well supported by retailers and schools.

Overseas colleagues have been kind in allowing New Zealand its independence, and I like to think it is because of the local operation being financially successful.

I have been fortunate to have had remarkable and loyal staff and I owe them a large debt. I will miss the people and the books greatly".

David will leave with our very best wishes for a long and enjoyable retirement with Bronwyn and the family, and we look forward to hearing about his skiing and golfing adventures for many years to come. 

Ross Gibb

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