Paul Heath has been appointed President of Reader’s Digest Asia Pacific, it was announced today by Mary Berner, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Reader’s Digest Association, Inc. He will be based in Sydney, Australia, and will report to Berner.
Heath has served as Managing Director of Reader’s Digest Australia and New Zealand since 2001. He will continue to oversee the Australia/New Zealand business, as well as adding responsibility for Asia and his division’s activities with Direct Holdings Worldwide, the part of RDA that runs the Time Life business.
“Paul Heath has produced exemplary results in his current territory, and this move will give him the opportunity to take on significantly more responsibility. We congratulate Paul on his promotion and are confident that he will continue his record of success in improving margins and growing the business,” Berner said.
Since coming to RDA, Heath has been responsible for transforming the markets under him back to profitability based on a number of initiatives. These included revitalizing the flagship Reader’s Digest magazine, revising the advertising sales strategy, expanding the product range and initiating business process improvements. In September 2006, a new magazine, HealthSmart, was launched and became No. 1 in the Australian health market from its inaugural issue. In January 2007 he expanded the business into South Africa for books, music and video products.
Previously, Heath was Vice President and Managing Director of Gateway UK and Ireland, a major direct marketer of PCs to the consumer market. He assumed this role after the successful turnaround of Gateway’s business in Australia and New Zealand.
Earlier, he was Marketing Director for Vodafone Australia and introduced a number of market firsts, including launching SMS to consumers, Pre-Paid Mobile and One-Second Billing as well as negotiating an international sponsorship deal with the World Cup-winning Australian Wallabies. His career includes a period in the financial services industry with American Express as Head of Direct Sales and Alliances, also in Sydney.
RDA also announced the appointments of Michael Brennan as President, Reader’s Digest Europe and CEO of Direct Holdings Worldwide, and Andrea Martin, President, Reader’s Digest Canada and Latin America regions. These moves are part of a restructuring of RDA’s international business to more directly link regional divisions with global headquarters.
The Reader’s Digest Association, Inc. is a global publisher and direct marketer of books, magazines, music collections and video with customers in more than 70 countries. The company publishes 77 magazines, including 50 local-country editions of its flagship, Reader’s Digest, the world’s most widely read magazine. RDA’s headquarters are located near Pleasantville, New York.