Jeff Belle, who has overseen Amazon Publishing since its launch in 2009, will leave Amazon this summer to focus on personal projects, a company spokesperson told PW. Mikyla Bruder, publisher of Amazon Publishing since 2015, has been named to succeed Belle as head of Amazon Publishing Worldwide.
“I feel so fortunate to have worked side by side with Jeff for so many years,” said Mikyla Bruder. “I am extremely proud of the business we have built, and the team of leaders we have brought together to lead Amazon Publishing. All of us at Amazon Publishing will miss him, but more than ever we remain committed to our shared vision of creating the world’s most author-centric publishing house.”
During his time at Amazon, Belle has overseen the growth of the publishing unit that began with the launch of the AmazonEncore imprint into a publisher spanning 16 imprints and publishing in a wide range of categories. AmazonCrossing, which was founded in 2010, is now one of the country’s largest publishers of translated works, while Montlake and Thomas & Mercer have strong presences in the romance and mystery markets, respectively. Amazon also has a large children’s operation, which Belle built through a series of acquisitions and organic growth.
One of Belle’s most ambitious efforts was hiring former Time Warner Book Group CEO Larry Kirshbaum in 2011 to oversee Amazon Publishing’s general publishing program. Kirshbaum left that position in January 2014, and Amazon focused its publishing strategy around various genres as well as publishing literary fiction and nonfiction under the Little A imprint and short fiction and nonfiction through Amazon Original Stories.
“Building this business over the past 12 years, and getting to come to work every day with such a talented, passionate team of book people, has been the highlight of my career,” said Belle. “And there’s no one more talented or dedicated to our authors’ success than Mikyla Bruder. As she and our amazing leadership team guide this publishing house into the future, I will be cheering, and reading, along.”
This story has been updated with new information.