Karen Lotz, president and publisher of Candlewick Press, has been named joint group managing director for parent company Walker Group and will become sole managing director in July 2011. In addition to Candlewick, Walker includes Walker Books UK and Walker Books Australia. Until next July, Lotz will share the managing director role with David Heatherwick, who will continue as finance director when Lotz takes over on her own. Heatherwick has been managing director for more than 20 years.

Lotz will continue to be based in Candlewick’s Somerville, Mass., headquarters and will also remain head of Candlewick. In her new role, Lotz will coordinate publishing across the Walker Group, review future publishing plans, develop a more global approach to publishing and marketing, and encourage the growth of Walker’s digital, brand and licensing business, as well as help manage the company.

In a statement, Heatherwick said, “It has been both a rewarding, demanding and enjoyable time for me. I believe we are extremely fortunate to have someone to take on the role who is such an inspirational leader and already so understanding of our ways.” Lotz joined Candlewick in 1999 and helped expand the company from a sales and marketing arm of Walker UK to a publisher of its own titles. Under Lotz, the U.S.-originated portion of Candlewick’s list grew from $5 million in 1999 to $28 million in 2009. Prior to joining Candlewick, Lotz was president and publisher of Dutton Children’s Books.