Steve Wasserman, whose publishing career included stints as an agent and editor-in-chief of the Los Angeles Times Book Review, has been named publisher and executive director of Heyday Books. He succeeds company founder Malcolm Margolin, who will retire this year after 41 years of running Heyday.
Wasserman, currently editor-at-large at Yale University Press, will start at Heyday July 1. Until that time Heyday’s editorial director, Gayle Wattawa, will act as interim publisher, and Lindsie M. Bear, Heyday’s director of nature and environmental publishing, will serve as interim executive director, Heyday said.
His appointment to lead the Berkeley, Calif- based Heyday will be a homecoming for Wasserman who grew up in Berkeley and graduated from the University of California at Berkeley. Prior to joining Yale University Press in 2012, Wasserman was a partner at the Kneerim & Williams Literary Agency; served for nine years as editor of the Los Angeles Times Book Review where he helped launch the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books; was editorial director of Times Books at Random House where he helped to publish Barack Obama’s Dreams From My Father; and was publisher and editorial director of Hill & Wang and the Noonday Press at Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
Wasserman said he was honored to lead Heyday into the future. “Malcolm’s passion for good books, his instinct for finding fresh voices, and his ability to inspire others have been exemplary. His shoes will be hard to fill,” Wasserman said in a statement.
Commenting on the appointment, Margolin said: “I’m genuinely thrilled and honored that Steve Wasserman has agreed to take over as executive director and publisher of Heyday. I can’t imagine anyone with better professional skills, more depth and variety of experience, and a more impressive record of accomplishment and public service. He knows California and its many cultures with intimacy, associates easily with the best writers and deepest thinkers everywhere, and his ample playfulness and wit have always been at the service of a humane social vision.”