Michael Pietsch is taking over at Hachette Book Group. The publisher announced today that Pietsch will be succeeding David Young as CEO of the U.S. division of the France-based publisher. Young, who is stepping down to return to the U.K. to be with his family, will retain his chairman title, and Pietsch will officially take over the day to day responsibilites on March 31, 2013.
Pietsch is currently executive v-p of HBG and publisher of Little, Brown. In his new role, the company said he will “assume full responsibility for the company’s profitability and direction.” He will also have to find his own replacement, looking for a new publisher for Little, Brown, which he has overseen for the last 11 years. Pietsch will report to Young, who will return to the U.S. about one week a month.
With the change, Ken Michaels, current chief operating officer at HBG, is being promoted to president and COO. He joined Hachette in 2009.
In addition to remaining as chairman of HBG, Young will oversee Hachette Livre’s Chief Operating Officers’ council—it covers France, the U.K., Spain and the U.S.—and report to Arnaud Nourry, chairman of Hachette Livre, parent company of HBG. Young will also take on the role, as of June 1, 2013, of deputy chief executive of Hachette UK and CEO of the Orion Publishing Group, reporting to Tim Hely Hutchinson, CEO of Hachette UK. Peter Roche, who is currently deputy chief executive of Hachette UK and CEO of Orion, is retiring and will step down in late June.
Young said he is going back to England “because I miss my wife and children too much.” He went on: “I shall also miss all of my great colleagues at HBG and working in the U.S., but family comes first. I have enjoyed enormously my time here and the company going from strength to strength, and I leave behind a brilliant team who work together so wonderfully, and will now be very ably led by Michael Pietsch.”
Pietsch said, in a statement: “I am looking forward to working with all of HBG’s brilliant publishers and executives in making this company the #1 destination for writers, agents, distribution clients, and the inspired people who choose to work in book publishing. I’m also thrilled to work more closely still with the amazing David Young, a sartorial and oenological sage who has led HBG with warmth, vigor, and rigor through the tremendous changes of the digital age, and with Arnaud Nourry, a visionary executive and leader.”