Little, Brown, a Hachette Imprint, Lays Off Seven People

The shake up at the Hachette Book Group imprint comes at a time when publishers are feeling pressured by sluggish print sales and rising supply chain costs.

Hachette Book Group laid off seven employees at its Little, Brown imprint on Wednesday, according to the company, in a shake-up that was the latest example of turmoil in the publishing industry.

The layoffs, which the company described as part of a corporate restructuring, come as major publishing companies have been buffeted by sluggish print sales and rising supply chain costs, and have struggled to find new ways to get books in front of customers who have migrated online.

The seven people being laid off include the editors Tracy Sherrod, Pronoy Sarkar, Jean Garnett and Ben George, according to a person with knowledge of the situation who wasn’t authorized to discuss personnel matters.

To many industry observers, the departure of Sherrod, a high-ranking Black editor, is a troubling sign that publishers are faltering in their promise to diversify their companies, particularly within their executive ranks.

A Hachette spokeswoman said the restructuring was part of an effort to better serve readers and was not a cost-cutting measure. As part of the restructuring, the company said, it will hire in new roles. The news was reported earlier by Publishers Weekly.

Last month, Penguin Random House let go of two publishers of its most prestigious literary imprints, casting off Reagan Arthur, the publisher of Alfred A. Knopf, and Lisa Lucas, who was the publisher of Pantheon and Schocken and had been the first Black publisher at Pantheon in its 80-year history. Their departures were part of a cost-saving restructuring, according to a person in publishing familiar with the decision.

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