Julia A. Reidhead, v-p and publishing director of W.W. Norton’s college department, has been named to succeed W. Drake McFeely as president. Reid takes over from McFeely—who has been president since 1994—today. McFeely will remain Norton chairman.
Reidhead will be the company’s sixth president and first woman in the role. In a statement, McFeely said: “Julia Reidhead, who has made her entire publishing career here at Norton, embodies all the values we hold dear: an abiding love of books and literature, pride in and dedication to the editorial process, a commitment to innovation (in particular, a deep understanding of the new avenues that digital media have opened), and above all, a passion for our status as independent publishers.”
Reidhead joined Norton in 1983 as a college sales rep and has a long list of accomplishments at the publisher. She moved to the editorial side of the company in 1988 as the associate editor for foreign language and freshman composition and in 1993 she became senior English editor, taking on editorial responsibility for the bestselling Norton Anthologies.
Reidhead became associate director of the college department in 1999, editorial director in 2007, and publishing director in 2014, a role in which she assumed overall responsibility for the publishing process and the quality of Norton’s textbooks and digital media. During her oversight of the college department the division has experienced ‘tremendous growth,” Norton said. In addition, Reidhead has been on the Norton board of directors since 1996.
As editor of the Norton Anthologies, Reidhead edited several volumes and oversaw the 1996 introduction of The Norton Anthology of African American Literature with general editors Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and Nellie Y. McKay, and edited The Norton Anthology of World Religions, the first comprehensive annotated collection of the principal religious texts from the world’s six major living religions, with general editor Jack Miles, published in 2014. She also guided the editorial process for the publication of Seamus Heaney’s translation of Beowulf for inclusion in The Norton Anthology of English Literature in 2000.
“To be joining Drake McFeely in the overall management of this firm is a huge honor and a great joy,” said Reidhead. “My colleagues and I are as proud of our independence and employee-ownership as we are of publishing distinctive books and digital media. I intend to uphold these qualities as we move toward Norton’s second century.”