Less than a week after Laurence Orbach returned to the Quarto Group as executive chairman, Marcus Leaver resigned as CEO of the publisher.
Leaver had been at Quarto for nearly six years and was chief operating officer when an outside investor group ousted Orbach, a Quarto cofounder, in late 2012. Leaver, who had been hired with the understanding he would succeed Orbach, did in fact take over as CEO following Orbach’s departure.
Orbach returned to Quarto last week when he was able to garner enough support at the publisher’s annual meeting to replace four incumbent board members. His main ally, Chuk Kin Lau, head of printer Lion Rock Group, has been named interim CEO.
In a statement, Orbach thanked Leaver for his “considerable achievements,” including raising the profile of he company and continuing to publish “very high quality books.” Orbach added: “Quarto remains focused on producing great books for its readers during this period of managerial transition and we look forward to moving the business forward and build upon its strengths.”
In his statement, Leaver praised the Quarto team “for their hard work and resilience during my tenure as CEO.” During his time at Quarto, Leaver focused Quarto’s business solely on book publishing by selling off a number of non-publishing units, while making several acquisitions.
Quarto had a rocky 2017, rejecting an unsolicited take-over bid, and seeing its earnings fall by about 57%. Leaver called 2017 “a transitional year,” but remained confident that his decision to focus the company on publishing was the right one.