In a memo to his staff this afternoon, Dan Farley, president and publisher of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, announced he will step down from those posts sometime in the next few months. Farley, who lives in San Diego and spends roughly two weeks per month in New York, cited his desire to base himself fulltime on the West Coast as the reason for his decision. After talking with Macmillan CEO John Sargent, Farley said, “We’ve determined that my new plans would not mesh with the business needs of the Group.” He said he will stay on at Macmillan at least through the end of the year in order to give Macmillan time to find a successor.

Farley, one-time publisher of Harcourt Trade, joined Macmillan in February 2008 to oversee Henry Holt on an interim basis when John Sterling moved into a corporate role. He was named publisher of Holt later that year and just before the close of 2008 was put in charge of integrating the different Macmillan children’s imprints into a single group in what became the Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group. With the appointment of Steve Rubin as president and publisher of Holt in November 2009, Farley devoted his full attention to the children’s division.

“With publishing programs and operations performing effectively, with consolidation richly underway, with smart and well-thought-out strategic planning poised to be implemented, and with our talented and collaborative staff, this seems a positive time to proverbially pass the baton,” Farley wrote in the memo.