This is from today’s Wall Street Journal and is supplied courtesy of Chuck Hamaker. — Ian Smith, chief executive of Reed Elsevier PLC (REL.LN), resigned unexpectedly Wednesday after only eight months in the job, but the Anglo-Dutch publishing group’s chairman said the move doesn’t herald a pending strategic shift. In a statement, Reed Elsevier said Smith, age 55, had resigned by mutual agreement and had also stepped down from the board, effective immediately. The company named his successor as Erik Engstrom, 46 years old and a native of Sweden, who became CEO of scientific publisher Elsevier in 2004 and has been a member of Reed Elsevier’s executive board since 2005. Smith wasn’t immediately available to comment further on his abrupt resignation, a spokesman said. Reed Elsevier‘s main businesses are science, medical, legal and business publishing; exhibitions and conferences; and data businesses such as LexisNexis and ChoicePoint. It tried last year to sell its Reed Business Information unit — publisher of titles such as Broadcasting & Cable and New Scientist — with hopes of using the proceeds to pay off the $4.1 billion of debt it racked up in the 2008 acquisition of ChoicePoint. But amid tough market conditions, the sale was called off.
“3rd update: Reed Elsevier CEO Smith Quits After Eight Months ,” by Maarten van Tartwijk and Bruce Orwall