Publishers Group West, which has been without a permanent leader since Charlie Winton left in January, has named Rich Freese president. The announcement was made by Michael Nicita, president of PGW's parent company Advanced Marketing Services, who said he was pleased that Freese will "take on the overall direction of our distribution operations." Freese will join PGW July 21 and will report to Kevan Lyon, executive v-p, distribution and publishing services at AMS, who has been overseeing PGW since Winton's departure.

Freese has been president and CEO of MBI Publishing Co. since August 2001. Before that, he was senior v-p at National Book Network, the country's second-largest distribution company, behind only PGW. Other companies for which Freese has worked include John Wiley & Sons and Crown Publishing.

Freese will be responsible for all aspects of PGW; the members of the PGW executive team, Mark Ouimet, Chris McKenney and Moffat Naythons, will all report to him.