The retirement of David Young and an expansion of the role of David Shelley are among a number of significant moves announced today by Hachette UK.
The moves also include the appointment of Katie Espiner as Orion managing director, the promotion of Jon Wood to Orion publisher, and the promotion of Charlie King to Little, Brown managing director. They have resulted in the redundancy of the role of Lisa Milton, managing director of Orion General.
David Young is to stand down as CEO of the Orion Publishing Group and deputy CEO of Hachette UK and retire from publishing at the end of 2015. The news follows the announcement that Orion publisher Malcolm Edwards was to step down from his full-time role, also at the end of the year. Hachette emphasized that there had been an understanding since Young's return in 2013 from the U.S., where he had been Hachette Book Group CEO, that he would occupy his Orion and Hachette roles for a limited period.
Young is among the most admired figures in U.K. publishing, known for his sympathetic management style and attention to detail. He started his career at Thorsons, which had been founded by his grandfather, in 1970. After HarperCollins' purchased the company he became managing director of HarperCollins' trade division, before moving to Time Warner Book Group (Time Warner then being the owner of Little, Brown).
Arnaud Nourry, chairman and CEO of Hachette Livre, said: "For me, one of the great joys of Hachette's acquisition of the Time Warner Book Group was getting to know David. From the very beginning of our working relationship, David was a pleasure to work with."
Young described his career as that of "a lucky man." He added: "When Time Warner Book Group was put on sale two days after I relocated to New York City to run it, I thought that luck might be out. I couldn't possibly have guessed then that its sale to Hachette Livre would lead to what has undoubtedly been the very best, most challenging and most satisfying 10 of those 45 years. Working with Arnaud and Tim has been a privilege, and a pleasure. My colleagues at Orion are a brilliant group of people, and I wish them, as well as my colleagues across all the Hachette Livre companies, the best of good fortune in the years ahead."
David Shelley, recently appointed CEO of Little, Brown to succeed Ursula Mackenzie, continues his rapid rise at the group with the addition of the role of CEO of Orion. Shelley's appointment does not signify a weakening of Hachette's divisional structure: both Orion and Little, Brown have new managing directors.
Katie Espiner, publisher of the Borough Press, Historical, and Voyager, becomes Orion Publishing Group managing director. She will take up the position near the end of the year. "Katie is an exceptional publisher, generally acknowledged, along with David, to be one of the standout talents in our industry," Hely Hutchinson said. Espiner, who before joining HarperCollins was at Transworld, said: "I have been so fortunate to work at HarperCollins and am extremely proud of The Borough Press and of all the authors I have had the privilege to publish over the years, but the opportunity offered to me by Tim and David was simply too great to pass up. Hachette has amazing momentum at the moment and I am thrilled to be able to play a role in shaping its future."
Jon Wood will become Orion publisher, reporting to Espiner, in January 2016; he is currently deputy group publisher and managing director of fiction for Orion.
Lisa Milton will remain as managing director of Orion General until Espiner's arrival, and will act for a time after that as a consultant to the company. Hely Hutchinson said: "Lisa Milton has been a tremendous ambassador for Orion, standing behind many of the company's achievements of the past 12 years. I am enormously grateful to her for the significant role she has played in the development of the company and for all her passionate enthusiasm and peerless management."
At Little, Brown, group marketing, publicity and creative director Charlie King will become managing director on January 1. Shelley said: "Charlie has the passion, energy and vision necessary to continue successfully Little, Brown's record of innovative, diverse publishing."
These moves follow two significant previous announcements. Malcolm Edwards steps down as Orion Deputy CEO and publisher at the end of 2015, becoming chair of Gollancz and consultant publisher at Orion. Ursula Mackenzie becomes chair of Little, Brown Book Group when David Shelley becomes CEO on July 1.
This article is adapted from a story that originally appeared in the U.K. publication BookBunch.