Longtime Norton publishing executive Robert Weil, editor in chief of W.W. Norton’s Liveright Publishing imprint, will step away from the job’s managerial duties beginning in June and take on a new role in July as Liveright v-p and executive editor, focused on acquiring and editing new titles. Peter J. Simon, v-p and editor in Norton’s college department, will take over as editor in chief of Liveright, succeeding Weil.
Founded in 1917 by Horace Liveright and noted for publishing many of the most celebrated authors of the 1920s and 1930s, the Liveright imprint was revived at Norton by Weil in 2011. Since its relaunch, the imprint has grown and deepened its output, now publishing about 40 books a year in areas of literary nonfiction, fiction and graphic fiction, poetry, and works in translation.
Norton chair and president Julia Reidhead said of Weil’s publishing legacy at Liveright: “When Bob Weil accepted the challenge of reviving Liveright, we at Norton were confident that he would make good things happen, but we could never have anticipated the scope of successes that have come to pass under his visionary leadership. He has reinvented Liveright while keeping it true to its storied past.”
Reidhead noted that Weil’s transition also marks new leadership at Liveright. “We are excited to appoint Peter Simon, an editor of exceptional ability, a leader perfectly positioned to build upon Norton’s unique Trade-College synergy, and a wise and thoughtful manager who will cultivate the skills of Liveright’s upcoming generation.”
Weil noted that “Peter Simon has long been doing some of Norton’s most innovative work. His sensibility, connections, and managerial know-how make me completely confident that Liveright will be in excellent hands for its next chapter.”
Over the course of a distinguished career at Liveright, Weil and his editorial staff have continued and built on Liveright’s literary legacy. In addition, books edited by Weil have been awarded two National Book Awards, three Pulitzer Prizes, two National Book Critics Circle Awards, two NAACP Image Awards, and two Bancroft Prizes, among other literary awards. He has edited eleven MacArthur “Genius” Fellows, in addition to hiring and mentoring many of the industry’s most respected younger editors and publishing executives.
In addition to his editorial position at Norton College, Simon has been a member of Liveright’s editorial board since 2013. He has acquired and edited dozens of Norton College’s best selling titles and most popular textbooks. In his new role as editor in chief, Simon will direct all of Liveright’s editorial staff and oversee all editorial projects. Simon emphasized that he will focus on Liveright’s “commitment to publishing a diverse range of voices and ideas.”
“The offer to follow in the footsteps of Bob Weil, and to build on the work he has done to transform Liveright into the imprint it is today, is a once-in-a-career opportunity,” Simon said. “I am delighted to take up this new role and am grateful that Bob will continue his editorial work with Liveright, where our colleagues and I may call upon him for his insight and wisdom.”