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Heather Reisman Returns as Indigo’s CEO; Markus Dohle Named Chair

Heather Reisman, the founder and onetime CEO of Indigo Books & Music, has returned to the company as CEO after the resignation of Peter Ruis. Additionally, Markus Dohle, former global CEO of Penguin Random House, has been named the company’s board chair. This management shake-up comes as Indigo continues to face sales declines and the aftermath of a website hack earlier this year. Reisman’s return may bring reassurance to Canadian publishers and book buyers, as she has been a familiar face and her book recommendations, known as “Heather’s Picks,” have been popular. The company is also preparing to open a new concept store in Toronto, offering a glimpse into its future direction.

Heather Reisman Returns as Indigos CEO; Markus Dohle Named Chair

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Heather Reisman Returns as Indigo’s CEO


Heather Reisman, the founder and former CEO of Indigo Books & Music, has made a return to the company as CEO. This comes after the resignation of CEO Peter Ruis and Reisman’s official retirement. Reisman’s return to Indigo has been met with anticipation and excitement within the industry.

Previous Resignation and Retirement

Reisman had previously retired from her position as Indigo’s executive chair and director. However, her return as CEO demonstrates her continued dedication and passion for the company. The decision to retire was likely a difficult one for Reisman, as she had played a pivotal role in shaping Indigo into the dominant bookstore chain it is today.

Reisman’s Return

Heather Reisman’s return to Indigo as CEO is seen as a positive move for the company. With her extensive experience and knowledge of the industry, Reisman is well-positioned to lead Indigo through its current challenges. Her return brings stability and reassurance to both employees and customers, signaling a commitment to the company’s mission and future growth.

Markus Dohle Named Chair


Markus Dohle, the former global CEO of Penguin Random House, has been appointed as the chair of Indigo’s board. Dohle’s extensive experience in the publishing industry makes him a valuable asset to the company. His appointment further strengthens Indigo’s leadership team and brings a fresh perspective to the organization.

Appointment as Board Chair

Dohle’s appointment as board chair is a strategic move by Indigo to enhance its governance and decision-making processes. With his background in publishing, Dohle can provide valuable insights and guidance to the board. As board chair, Dohle will oversee important committees such as human resources, compensation, and governance, ensuring that Indigo operates with efficiency and effectiveness.

Responsibilities as Board Chair

As the board chair, Dohle will play a crucial role in shaping the strategic direction of Indigo. He will work closely with CEO Heather Reisman and the rest of the board to make decisions that align with the company’s goals and values. Dohle’s leadership will be instrumental in driving Indigo’s growth and success in the coming years.

Heather Reisman Returns as Indigos CEO; Markus Dohle Named Chair

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Management Shifts and Concerns

Resignation and Replacement of Board Members

Indigo has recently experienced significant management shifts, including the resignation and replacement of board members. While these changes can bring fresh perspectives and new ideas to the company, they also create uncertainty and concerns within the industry. The departure of experienced board members raises questions about the company’s stability and future direction.

Worries in Canadian Publishing

The management shifts at Indigo have also sparked worries within the Canadian publishing industry. Indigo is a major player in the Canadian book market, and any instability within the company can have ripple effects on the industry as a whole. Industry stakeholders are closely monitoring the situation and hoping for a smooth transition under the new leadership.

Sales Declines and Website Hack

In addition to the management shifts, Indigo has also been grappling with sales declines and the fallout from a website hack. The company reported a 12% drop in revenue for the first quarter of the year, citing the hack and a lack of popular titles as contributing factors. These challenges further underscore the need for strong and effective leadership at Indigo.

Indigo’s Financial Performance

Revenue Decline and Adjusted EBITDA for Q1

Indigo’s financial performance for the first quarter of the year has been disappointing, with a 12% decline in revenue compared to the previous year. Sales fell to C$179.2 million, while adjusted EBITDA for the quarter was a loss of $21.4 million. These figures highlight the challenges that Indigo is currently facing in the highly competitive book market.

Factors Affecting Performance

Several factors have contributed to Indigo’s poor financial performance. The website hack earlier in the year crippled the company’s sales and online ordering systems for nearly two months, resulting in significant revenue loss. Additionally, a dearth of popular titles has impacted customer demand and sales. These challenges emphasize the need for strategic initiatives to restore Indigo’s financial health.

Heather Reisman Returns as Indigos CEO; Markus Dohle Named Chair

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Expectations for Reisman’s Return

Reassurance for Book Buyers

Heather Reisman’s return as CEO is expected to provide reassurance to book buyers. Her familiarity with the industry and her strong reputation as a leader in the book market make her a trusted figure among customers. Reisman’s return signals a commitment to the company’s mission and a focus on delivering high-quality books and exceptional customer experiences.

Return of ‘Heather’s Picks’

One of the notable expectations for Reisman’s return is the revival of “Heather’s Picks.” This curated selection of Reisman’s favorite books has been highly successful in the past, driving sales and gaining loyal customers. Bringing back this beloved program will not only attract book buyers but also showcase Reisman’s passion for literature and her keen eye for quality reads.

Path to Regain Momentum

Reisman’s return is seen as a step towards regaining Indigo’s momentum. With her experience and strategic vision, Reisman is expected to lead the company through a period of growth and profitability. Her clear path to success will likely involve revitalizing Indigo’s product offerings, optimizing its online presence, and strengthening its relationships with publishers and authors.

New Concept Store in Toronto

Overview of the Store

Indigo is preparing to open a new concept store in Toronto, which will showcase its innovative approach to retail. The store, located at The Well, a new retail and housing development in the King West neighborhood, will cover an impressive 16,000 square feet. This urban concept store aims to create a unique and immersive shopping experience for customers.

Features and Programs

The new concept store will offer a range of exciting features and programs. Customers can expect to find immersive shoppable product vignettes, combining the best of online and in-store shopping. Additionally, the store will feature a vinyl record shop with a jukebox and a curated selection of books, catering to customers’ love for music and literature. A gourmet coffee truck and a plant shop will further enhance the store’s appeal, giving customers a reason to linger and explore.

The store will also host a robust live event and book club program, fostering a sense of community and engagement among book lovers. The combination of these features and programs will create a dynamic and inviting space that goes beyond traditional bookstores.


Heather Reisman’s return as CEO and Markus Dohle’s appointment as board chair bring a renewed sense of optimism to Indigo Books & Music. Despite the challenges the company faces, there is confidence in the leadership’s ability to navigate through these difficulties and restore Indigo’s growth and profitability.

The opening of the new concept store in Toronto further demonstrates Indigo’s commitment to innovation and providing customers with exceptional experiences. Through a combination of strategic initiatives, a curated book selection, and a dynamic retail environment, Indigo is poised to regain its momentum and continue its legacy as a leading bookseller in Canada.