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Exit Elisabeth Ruge: Bloomsbury’s Intl. Reorg Ousts Berlin Verlag Co-founder, MD

By Siobhan O’Leary

Elisabeth Ruge

When Bloomsbury announced a substantial restructuring of its global operations about three weeks ago, it wasn’t immediately clear how the changes would impact Germany’s Berlin Verlag, which was acquired by Bloomsbury in 2003. Berlin Verlag has now announced that Elisabeth Ruge, co-founder of the press and managing director since 2005, will be stepping down as of March 15th.

According to Buchreport, the announcement came as a particular surprise given that the German house had expressed an air of “business as usual” in the immediate aftermath of the reorg.

As reported in Publishers Weekly and elsewhere, Bloomsbury will be forming “four worldwide divisions organized along categories rather than structuring the company along geographic lines. The change was announced as a response to the “overall globalization of publishing, including the worldwide presence of some of Bloombury’s biggest customers — Amazon, Apple and Google.”

Berlin Verlag was founded in 1994 and sold to Bloomsbury following a five-year stint under the helm of Random House. Its authors include Ingo Schulze, Jonathan Littell and Péter Esterházy. The publisher’s latest venture is Berlin Academic, an academic publishing house founded in 2010 with a special focus on digital developments and Open Access.

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