In a move it says will improve its ability to exploit licensing and digital opportunities for all three of its subsidiaries to an international market, Walker Books Group has moved Helen McAleer, managing director of Walker Group UK, to the new role of chief global development officer of the Walker Books Group and managing director, Walker Productions. In her new roles, McAleer will be developing and leading the global team responsible for shaping the strategy, forecasts, and delivery for the Walker Group companies in the U.K., U.S. and Australia/New Zealand and their properties and products in the development, exploitation, marketing, and sale of auxiliary media rights. Under the umbrella of publishing, McAleer also will supervise all licensed and tie-in publishing for the three companies globally.

McAleer joined Walker Books in London in 2006 as UK managing director, and founded Walker Productions in 2007 to develop Walker-owned content for other media platforms. Her new appointment, says Karen Lotz, Walker Group managing director, “opens up tremendously exciting opportunities for our books, authors, and illustrators worldwide. I am thrilled that the American and Australian lists will now be able to benefit as the U.K. list has done from Helen’s top-of-the-industry expertise. She brings a 360-degree approach to the translation of books into other forms of media.”

“It is with great excitement that I embark on my new role within the Walker Group,” says McAleer. “As the industry continues to evolve it’s vital that we focus on diversifying the business beyond traditional publishing models and I plan to make sure that the many quality properties on the Walker list worldwide benefit from all the new opportunities opening up to us.”

With McAleer’s new duties, Lotz will take on the role of interim UK MD. She will also continue her roles as MD of the Walker Books Group as well as president and publisher of Candlewick Press.