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UPDATED: David Davidar to leave Penguin

Penguin Canada president David Davidar “ who took over the firm in fall 2003 and has been widely credited with returning it to good health “ will soon be leaving the company and returning to India, his homeland.

[UPDATE] According to Penguin Canada director of marketing and publicity Yvonne Hunter, Davidar will not be continuing on with Penguin India, either. He is leaving the company altogether to pursue his writing career and other projects.

John Makinson, the U.K.-based chairman and CEO of Penguin Group, flew in to Toronto yesterday to join Davidar in conveying the news to staff and to explain how the company will be structured going forward.

Once Davidar leaves “ which is likely to happen in July “ staff will begin reporting to Penguin U.S. CEO David Shanks. According to Hunter, this is a permanent arrangement and Davidar will not be replaced. The most senior figure at Penguin Canada will now be publisher Nicole Winstanley, who is going on maternity leave in August. Ivan Held, publisher of Putnam U.S., will oversee the publishing program in Winstanley’s absence, and Nick Garrison, formerly of Doubleday Canada, will be handling the editing on several of her titles. Both Shank and Held will be flying to the Toronto offices next week to meet with staff and hammer out more of the arrangements.

When asked if the new reporting structure might mean changes to the Canadian publishing program, Hunter was emphatic: “Absolutely not. We have a really dynamic publishing program … that we absolutely intend to sustain.” Meanwhile, Winstanley stated in a press release that the Canadian division will continue to publish robustly…. The new imprints that we have launched (Hamish Hamilton Canada in 2009 and Allen Lane Canada this year) reiterate our commitment to publish the best writers in Canada and abroad … and that is the direction we’ll continue in.

Penguin Canada will continue to ship all lines from the Pearson Canada distribution centre in Newmarket, Ontario.