David Kent, president and publisher of Random House of Canada since 1991, has been named president and CEO of HarperCollins Canada, effective today, March 12. Kent succeeds Claude Primeau, who is retiring after 12 years with the company. Primeau will act as an adviser to HC Canada until the end of the year. Kent had served as executive v-p of HC Canada in 1989, before moving to Doubleday Canada. He will report to David Steinberger, president of corporate strategy and international.
HC president Jane Friedman credited Primeau with helping to turn around the company's Canadian unit. Sales at HC Canada rose by more than 100% over the last four years, and the publisher had record profits in fiscal 1999 and 2000. Friedman commented that Kent, "shares our vision of global publishing, recognizing the growing need to capitalize on the advantages for Canadian authors that come from being part of a worldwide publishing business."