EIGHTEEN UK WORKERS HAVE PAID THE PRICE in job losses as the long-term globalisation strategy behind Kingsway’s merger with David C Cook has been “accelerated” following the group’s more recent acquisition of Integrity Music.
Emphasising the level of expertise and investment involved alongside the strength and stability of the group’s new distribution system, Cris Doornbos, President and CEO of David C Cook, explains the thinking behind the changes in a Letter to Our Key Stakeholders dated October 21st:
As a key stakeholder of David C Cook and Kingsway, we want you to be among the first to hear news of some changes we have recently made to our UK operation, Kingsway Music and Distribution.
In way of background, we developed a five-year strategic plan earlier this year which laid out specific strategies required to increase our ministry impact and best advance our mission: “To equip the Church with Christ centered resources for making and teaching disciples who obediently transform today’s generations.”
The plan included, among other things, establishing one global worship ministry unit as we see worship music as one of the greatest tools we have to equip the global church. We have long had a vision to utilize music as a key tool for creating disciples around the world, especially as over half of the world’s population entered the new millennium unable to read. Our recent acquisition of Integrity Music has made it possible for us to accelerate our goal and take another important step forward.
The five-year plan also included the strategy of leveraging the expertise in our Canadian distribution business to support growth. Over the past several years, we have made significant investments in both our Canadian distribution operation and our United Kingdom distribution operation. We now have a new warehouse management system in place in both locations coupled with a new ERP system that has proven to be highly efficient and world class. Together with our experienced and knowledgeable team, we are in the advantageous position of having processes and systems that are highly effective, and allow us to offer our current and potential publishing and music partners a strong and stable distribution service in both Canada and the United Kingdom.
The letter goes on to spell out a number of specific changes being made as the plan is implemented, concluding, sadly, with job losses in the UK:
- Kingsway Music and Kingsway Distribution separated;
- Kingsway Music and Integrity Music combined to create “one music ministry unit with two labels” headed up globally by Ryan Dunham with Jonathan Brown taking over from John Paculabo at Kingsway Music UK;
- Creation of a single global distribution service operating from bases in the USA, Canada and the UK, headed by Greg Tombs, Managing Director of Global Distribution;
- John Paculabo becomes Managing Director of Global Song Development, with specific responsibility “for seeing that our songs are being sung in local churches around the world, while working to nurture and develop indigenous writers and artists in other nations”;
- 18 jobs in the UK “eliminated due to new operational efficiencies and redundancies in roles”, an outcome described as “necessary, but heartbreaking.”
My thanks to John Paculabo for providing the information upon which this report is based. John himself explains further:
We intend to remain focused and dedicated to the development of worship songs and worship writers on both sides of the Atlantic, a point which I would strongly emphasize.
The net result of [these realignments], plus the poor economic trading conditions that we are all experiencing, has brought about the redundancies of last week. These decisions are painful and difficult as Kingsway like so many other Christian ministries fosters a family atmosphere, and so it is true to say that friends and family have all been affected by these job losses.
Please keep those who have lost their current livelihood in your prayers.
Pray too that Kingsway/David C Cook’s globalised service strategy and systems prove more resilient and robust than Biblica/IBS-STL’s similar exercise back in 2008/2009.