RBmedia has appointed Michael Paull, the former president of Disney's direct-to-consumer business, as its new chief executive officer, as well as a member of its board of directors. Paull succeeds Tom MacIsaac, who took the helm nearly eight years ago, when RBmedia was still known as Recorded Books, and who will continue with the company as a senior advisor.

The move comes six months after the audiobook publisher moved under new ownership, following its sale to Francisco Partners and H.I.G. Capital for a reported $1 billion by fellow private equity firm KKR, as the latter prepared to complete its purchase of Simon & Schuster. It also follows what the company called “another year of record-breaking growth” in 2023, and its acquisition of Berrett-Koehler's audiobook business this past January.

In a statement, Aaron Tolson, managing director at H.I.G. Capital, said that Paull's "experience is a great fit with the audiobook market and will be invaluable in guiding RBmedia to the next level.” Matt Spetzler, a partner at Francisco Partners, added that the company's ownership is “confident RBmedia is in excellent hands with Michael’s extensive knowledge and experience in the digital media space.”

At Disney, Paull oversaw the global business and operational functions for Disney+, ESPN+, Hulu, and Star+. Prior to joining Disney, Paull held senior leadership roles at Amazon Digital Video and Digital Music, Sony Music Entertainment, and Sony Pictures Entertainment. He currently serves on the boards of directors of MoneyLion and PlayOn Sports and the board of trustees of the American Ballet Theatre.

“The audiobook market has been growing rapidly for many years now, and the impressive team at RBmedia has created a digital media powerhouse that stands at the forefront of the industry,” Paull said in a statement. “I am grateful to have the opportunity to lead the company into a new era of growth and success.”