Don Weisberg, who joined Macmillan in January 2016 as president of Macmillan Publishers U.S. and was promoted to CEO of Macmillan Publishers' worldwide trade operations following the departure of John Sargent in 2021, will leave the company at the end of the year. Jon Yaged has been named Weisberg’s successor as CEO of Macmillan Publishers U.S.

When Weisberg exits the publisher at the end of 2022, Stefan von Holtzbrinck, CEO of the Holtzbrinck Publishing Group, will oversee Macmillan’s English-language trade business outside of the U.S. Joanna Prior, CEO of Pan Macmillan UK, and Ross Gibb, managing director of Pan Macmillan ANZ, will report directly to von Holtzbrinck. Weisberg will move into an advisory role to Stefan von Holtzbrinck in January.

“This is the perfect time for a handoff,” Weisberg said, pointing to two years of record growth and profits, marked improvements in Macmillan's operations, and expansion of its DEI initiatives. Both Weisberg and Yaged said that they expect the transition to be seamless. “We've always worked together,” Weisberg said. Yaged, who joined Macmillan in 2011 as president of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group and was promoted to president of all of Macmillan US trade in January 2021, called his relationship with Weisberg “very collaborative.”

Weisberg began his career at Bantam Books in 1980, and held various executive roles at Random House and Penguin Random House before moving to Macmillan. It was Weisberg who took over the running of the company on January 1, 2021, when Sargent was unexpectedly fired. “John created a great culture, one that is based around people,” Weisberg said, "something I worked to maintain."

Yaged called Macmillan a unique place to work, characterizing the company as having the necessary resources to compete for the projects it wants yet being nimble enough to pivot quickly. He said that those attributes helped the company navigate the challenges of the pandemic, and now put Macmillan in a position to take advantage of the opportunities that will arise in the current moment that is filled with supply chain issues, inflation, and the war in Ukraine.

“We are prepared for the challenges,” Yaged said. “It has been an incredible few years, and we continue to evolve and change.” He predicted that publishing in general will outperform the economy in 2022.

Moving forward, Yaged said, his goals are to keep Macmillan true to its foundation “while also continuing to evolve. We will retain the individual identities among our publishers that unquestionably distinguish us from our competitors. We will continue to build upon our progress to make our staff, the books we publish, and the authors we work with more reflective of our society. We will explore new tactics and use new technology to increase discoverability of the books we publish.”

In prepared remarks, von Holtzbrinck said that Yaged had “completely transformed” the children’s business during his time as president of MCPG, and predicted that Yaged’s “ability to attract, develop and empower talent”—along with his results-driven approach—“will continue to be particularly valuable in leading the company.”

Asked how he feels about leaving the industry after more than 40 years, Weisberg said: “It will be interesting. I’m looking forward to the change.”