The Folio Society announce move to Employee Ownership Trust
Following five very successful years of consistent growth, bold publishing and innovative marketing, The Folio Society today announced the sale of the publisher to its employees under the terms of an ‘EOT’, giving employees 100% ownership of the company.
With social enterprise, employee well-being and engagement driving the approach, The Folio Society will, like others such as John Lewis, Riverford and Richer Sounds, become a company owned by its employees via the Trust, whose only beneficiaries are those who work in the business.
This exciting transition of the longstanding publishing house that celebrates its 75th anniversary next year is the brainchild of CEO Joanna Reynolds. Shareholder and Management Board Chair Kate Gavron and CEO Joanna Reynolds are committed to new and inclusive approaches to company ownership that underpin the direction of this significant change. The move to an EOT reflects the values of Folio and is a trailblazing example of progressive sharing of power and profit in publishing.
The structure of the business day-to-day remains unchanged with the current Management Board remaining in post to lead the business: Joanna Reynolds CEO; Urmi Dutta-Roy CFO; Tom Walker Publishing Director; Emma Lawson Marketing Director and Mark Mainstone Business Services Director, who, with the addition of Brian Edwards as the Non-Executive Chair are the company directors. An Employee Council and The Folio Society Trust are the other key elements of the structure.
Commenting on the change in ownership Kate Gavron says, ‘The shareholders are delighted by the creation of an Employee Ownership Trust for The Folio Society. I am certain that my late husband, Bob Gavron, who bought the company in 1982, would have approved enthusiastically. Folio is a publisher of beautiful books, created to the highest editorial standards and with outstanding design and illustration. It is fitting that the new owners should be the employees, as they are the people who have made it what it is today. I am confident that Folio has an exciting and successful future under the leadership of Joanna Reynolds, with an excellent management team supported by Brian Edwards as Non-Executive Chair.’
Leading the buyout for employees, Joanna Reynolds comments, ‘The Folio Leadership Team is very excited about the move to an EOT. It is a progressive, innovative, industry-leading approach that reflects our values and will position the business strongly for the future. The people who have driven the business forward and who will continue to strive for excellence in everything we do, will own Folio. We believe that our authors, illustrators and other key partners will celebrate with us in this positive step towards the next 75 years of Folio’s story. We love the books we publish and know they can only get even better’.
The Folio Society publishes some of the best names in publishing past and present, across the globe in beautiful, high specification, collector editions. Recent publications include Frank Herbert’s Dune; Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, Andrew Chaikin’s A Man on the Moon and Alice Walker’s The Color Purple among many other contemporary and classic editions.