Jane Friedman, cofounder of Open Road Integrated Media, has announced that she is stepping down as chairman and executive publisher of the company. Friedman helped launch Open Road in 2009, after leaving her position as CEO of HarperCollins.
"I am so proud of the great accomplishments of the Open Road team over the past seven years,” Friedman said in a statement. “Our mission was to bring great writers’ works back to life, primarily as e-books. To that end, Open Road has acquired and continues to publish more than 10,000 titles.”
Friedman, who was named PW's Publishing Person of the Year in 2006, began stepping back her involvement with Open Road last year, when Paul Slavin (who joined Open Road in 2015) succeeded her as CEO. Friedman said that as Open Road expands its mission, she feels "the time is right for new management to lead the charge.”
In his statement, Slavin said Open Road remains “dedicated to Jane’s original vision…which is to preserve the legacies of great writers.” In late January, Open Road acquired e-book rights to five books by Joan Didion, six psychological suspense thrillers by Joyce Carol Oates, and two novels by Philip Pullman. In early January, Slavin said that 2016 had been "a year of tremendous growth" and Open Road said it has had a good start to 2017.
Friedman will continue to remain on Open Road’s board.