Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Division has named Jason Wells to the newly created role of v-p of marketing and publicity, effective December 7, the division's president and publisher Jon Anderson wrote in a letter to staff on Monday. The move is the first in a number of planned hires.

Wells worked at Abrams Books for Young Readers for the last 14 years, where he oversaw marketing and publicity for books including Jeff Kinney's blockbuster Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. As a result of the hire, v-p and director of marketing Lucille Rettino will leave S&S.

"Jason will be heading an expanded and unified publicity and marketing force, adding additional positions throughout the department," Anderson wrote. "Combining and expanding these two essential areas is a recognition of the critical role they both play in assuring the best possible degree of success for all of our authors and illustrators."

Among those reporting to Wells are director of marketing Chrissy Noh, associate director of digital marketing Matt Pantoliano, associate director of marketing Carolyn Swerdloff, and associate directors of publicity Jodie Hockensmith and Katy Hershberger.