Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Trade president Gary Gentel has announced that he is retiring in 2016, and will be succeeded by Ellen Archer. Archer was most recently president and publisher of Walt Disney Co.’s Hyperion Books.
Archer left Hyperion in 2013, shortly after the sale of the majority of the publisher's titles to the Hachette Book Group. She will start at HMH December 7. Gentel will remain with HMH until spring 2016, helping with the executive transition.
Gentel has been head of HMH Trade since 2007, when the division was created following Houghton Mifflin’s purchase of Harcourt. Prior to taking over HMH Trade, Gentel was president of HMH’s trade operations. Before joining HMH, he held executive posts at Candlewick and Scholastic. At HMH, Gentel weathered some difficult times, particularly after the formation of HMH Trade. The situation began to improve, though, in 2010 and in late 2012 the company acquired the cooking and reference assets of John Wiley. HMH CEO Linda Zecher praised Gentel for leading the division's transition into new media and channels, "while building our legacy of award-winning content and authors."
In announcing Archer’s appointment Zecher said: “It remains an exciting time for our Trade business. I’m thrilled that Ellen has agreed to join us as we continue to leverage the connection between our core education business and our consumer publishing business, expanding into new genres, further developing our brands and properties, and delivering content in new ways and to new audiences.”
Archer, who will divide her time between HMH’s New York and Boston offices, said she's looking forward to continuing to “grow and expand [HMH’s] offerings for lifelong learners, and to help leverage those properties in new and exciting ways.”
This article has been updated.