Richard Mollet, chief executive of the Publishers Association (PA), is to step down next year to become head of European Government Affairs at RELX Group (formerly known as Reed Elsevier).

Mollet succeeded Simon Juden at the PA in 2010. He has been a notable success in the role, adept at political lobbying and at forging relationships within the book trade and beyond. It has been a time of frenzied activity for the PA, which has engaged with issues in the U.K. and abroad such as copyright reform, the digital single market, open access, piracy, curriculum changes, and careers, as well as cross-industry initiatives such as World Book Day, Books Are My Bag, and Reading for Pleasure. Under his watch, the contribution of the publishing industry to the U.K. economy has enjoyed a particularly high profile.

PA president Joanna Prior said: "For the last five years Richard has steered the PA brilliantly; representing our interests in Brussels and Whitehall with great skill and diplomacy, using his excellent communication skills as a really effective spokesman and advocate for our industry and developing a strong senior management team under him."

Mollet said: "Running the PA and being at the heart of U.K. publishing has been an amazing experience. The people who work in publishing are passionate, committed and above all great fun to work with and I greatly look forward to continuing to work within the sector."

At RELX, Mollet will be part of the global government affairs team working across its publishing, business information and exhibitions businesses.

The story first appeared in the U.K. newsletter BookBrunch.