Susan Katz, president and publisher of HarperCollins Children’s Books, will retire this summer after 28 years with the organization. Suzanne Murphy, v-p, publisher of Disney Book Group/Disney Publishing Worldwide, has been named as Katz's successor.
Katz became president of the children’s division in 1996, and during her tenure revenues have more than tripled, according to Harper.
“Under Susan’s leadership, HarperCollins Children’s Books has carefully and consistently published amazing books that have found their way into the libraries and living rooms of millions of children, teens and adults," said HC president and CEO Brian Murray. "She has guided the division through one successful year after another, and has made an enormous contribution to the company’s overall success – whether she’s breathing new life into our timeless classics or launching new brands that engage the next generation of readers. She has been an amazing colleague, leader and friend, and she will be greatly missed."
Under her stewardship, the division has earned a combined 65 Newbery, Caldecott, Printz, and Coretta Scott King Awards and Honors. Among the authors she worked with are Neil Gaiman, Kevin Henkes, Walter Dean Myers, Shel Silverstein, and Maurice Sendak. She helped to launch franchises such as Divergent, I Am Number Four, The Selection, Vampire Diaries, and Pretty Little Liars.
“I’ve had the best job in publishing at the best publisher," said Katz. "I’ve worked with an incredibly talented and dedicated staff and a wonderful group of authors and illustrators. HarperCollins has been my home away from home and the people have been part of my family. While I will miss everyone with all my heart, I know that I am leaving the company in great hands and that the children’s division will continue to thrive and grow in this very exhilarating time for the industry."
Before going to Disney in 2010, Murphy was v-p and group publisher of Scholastic Trade. She will join HarperCollins on May 20. She will sit on the global executive committee, and report to Murray.
“Over the last decade Suzanne has worked on some of the biggest properties in children’s literature and created global successes that have shaped the direction of the industry," said Murray. "Her extensive experience will enable her to hit the ground running. I’m delighted to welcome her to HarperCollins."
Murphy said, “I am thrilled and honored to be taking the baton from Susan, whose leadership of HarperCollins Children’s has set the bar high in the industry for so many years. I look forward to working with the incredibly dynamic, creative, and smart team at HarperCollins."