Maja Thomas, senior v-p Hachette Digital & Audio and a 22 year veteran of the company, is leaving the Hachette Book Group to pursue other interests. Although she is leaving the company on April 30, she will return in July and work until the end of 2013 as a part-time consultant to Hachette CEO Michael Pietsch, offering advice on digital content issues as well as working on a new structure for the Audio and Digital groups.
Thomas joined Time Warner, now renamed the Hachette Book Group, in 1991 as an editor/writer/producer at A+Audio, a small audiobook division in Time Warner at the time. In an e-mail to the staff at Hachette, Pietsch called Thomas, “a pioneer in the creation of the HBG’s e-book and audiobook business.”
She has directed Hachette Audio since 2000, winning Five Grammy Awards and garnering 15 Grammy nominations. In 2005 she was named to direct Hachette Digital and has been “instrumental in the development of our digital publishing program,” Pietsch said, noting that digital revenues were 25% of HBG revenue in 2012. Thomas has also been chief stategist for Hachette for Bookish.com, the recently launched publisher-organized retail and book discoverability site.
According to Pietsch, Thomas will take a two month personal leave of absence beginning April 30 and return to Hachette on July 1 in her new role—as a part-time advisor on digital & special projects, reporting directly to Pietsch until she departs for good at the end of 2013. Besides working on issues around digital publishing and continuing to represent HBG on the Bookish board, Pietsch said Thomas will “work on a new structure for the Audio and Digital groups.” He said announcements about the restructuring of the groups will be made “soon.”