Hachette Children’s Group
Thursday 25th September 2014 Hachette UK announces the creation of a single publishing division for children’s books Hilary Murray Hill to join Hachette Children’s Group as CEO in January 2015 upon the retirement of Marlene Johnson ________________________________ Tim Hely Hutchinson, CEO of Hachette UK, today announces the creation of the Hachette Children’s Group, a single publishing division comprising Hachette Children’s Books, Orion Children’s Publishing and Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. Marlene Johnson, CEO of Hachette Children’s Books, will lead the new division until her retirement from Hachette at the end of 2014. Hilary Murray Hill, currently Managing Director of Egmont Publishing’s Book Division, will join the Hachette Children’s Group as CEO on 13th January 2015. Clare Somerville takes on the role of Deputy Managing Director of the Hachette Children’s Group. Hachette Children’s Group will consist of four distinct fiction imprints: Orion Children’s Books led by Managing Director and Publisher Fiona Kennedy L,BYR led by Publishing Director Karen Ball Hodder Children’s Books led by Publishing Director Anne McNeil Orchard Books led by Publishing Director Megan Larkin and two educational imprints: Franklin Watts led by Publishing Director Rachel Cooke Wayland led by Editorial Director Debbie Foy All members of staff who currently work for Hachette Children’s Books, Orion Children’s Books and Little, Brown Young Readers will join the Hachette Children’s Group. The aim of the merger is to develop new strengths in children’s publishing from a successful base. There are no redundancies as a result of the creation of the new division. The new division will become operational on 1st January 2015. Where it makes sense, the staff at Orion Children’s Books and L,BYR will move to join their colleagues in 338 Euston Road by 1st January, before everyone moves together to Carmelite House in Spring 2015.
Atom will continue to be an imprint of Little, Brown. James Gurbutt will widen his role as Publisher of Corsair to become Publisher of Corsair and Atom. Sales for the Hachette Children’s Group will be handled by the Hachette Children’s Books sales team led by Sales Director Jason McKenzie, reporting to Lucy Hale. Orion Children’s Books and Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, which are currently distributed by LBS, will move to Bookpoint so that, from 1st January 2015, all books published by Hachette Children’s Group will be distributed by Bookpoint.
Tim Hely Hutchinson said: “I am delighted to announce this important strategic development for Hachette. We are bringing our abundant talent into one children’s publishing division that will be focused on ambitious and creative publishing programmes in every children’s publishing area and for every age group. Our six current imprints will continue, retaining their identities and their individual strengths under the leadership of their current Managing Directors and Publishers. But now, led by Marlene in the short term and by Hilary from the new year, they will be part of a larger talent pool giving each individual imprint greater sales and marketing reach and, collectively, under one management, becoming part of a rich and specialised children’s publishing division. This reorganisation is a mark of our ambition in children’s publishing: it capitalises on our strengths and it will create new opportunities for our talented staff as the division grows and diversifies. We are excited at this opportunity for growth and our plan will no doubt be strengthened by the exchange of many great ideas as everyone gets involved in embracing each other’s best practices, and developing our strategy for the future. I am extremely grateful to Marlene for steering and leading this new design that caps her wonderfully inspiring and successful publishing career of over 40 years. I have been working with Marlene since I joined Hachette ten years ago and am full of admiration for her drive and ambition for her books and authors which led to the creation of a very successful and profitable children’s publishing division. The division she masterminded now moves on to another stage in its development as the home of great authors and staff. There will be many further opportunities to thank Marlene but for now I want to acknowledge her outstanding contribution to children’s publishing. Marlene and I are both excited at the prospect of Hilary bringing her experience and ideas here. I know that Hilary is keen to start meeting our authors and colleagues and to support the talent from which we already benefit as well as adding new dimensions to the business in digital and other spheres.”
Arnaud Nourry said, “Marlene has been a powerhouse behind the growth of our children’s publishing business in the UK from the moment she joined the Watts Publishing Group almost 30 years ago. She was instrumental in the establishment of Orchard and, after Hachette’s acquisition of Hodder Headline in 2004, Marlene, with Tim, managed the merger of the children’s publishing divisions into Hachette Children’s Books which she has led to become a market-leading creative and nurturing environment for authors and illustrators alike. Marlene is a formidable businesswoman who combines a forensic understanding of balance sheets with the warmth and understanding required to manage a successful creative business. I want to thank her most warmly for her enormous contribution to Hachette UK.” Marlene Johnson said, “The world is changing, the way stories are discovered is changing and we are changing too. The children’s teams across Hachette are passionate about delivering the very best to today’s children and the newly enlarged children’s division will bring together amazing talent from across the spectrum. I am immensely proud of my team and what we have achieved over the last 10 years, the breadth of our publishing and our myriad successes. And despite being part of a very large group we have retained the heart and warmth that makes every author published by us, every book and every member of staff feel special. The company is now entering a new phase of its development and it seems to be the perfect time to welcome Hilary to take the new division forward. I would also like to thank Tim and Arnaud for their unerring support over the years and their commitment to children’s publishing.”
Hilary Murray Hill said, “It has been a thoroughly interesting and happy experience working with Cally and her excellent team at Egmont but the opportunity to take the role of Chief Executive of the Hachette Children's Group was unmissable. I am delighted to have this new challenge when the opportunities in children's publishing have never been more varied or required more creativity.” Ends
Marlene Johnson and Hachette Children’s Books Marlene started her career in publishing at Macdonald & Co where she qualified as an accountant and rose to become Finance Director. She took a break from publishing to work in the hotel business, design consultancy and advertising, before returning to her first love, publishing, joining The Watts Publishing Group as Finance and Operations Director in 1986. Marlene was instrumental in the establishment of Orchard and the development of the business into a creative and nurturing environment for authors and illustrators alike. She became Managing Director five years later and then in 2005, following Hachette’s acquisition of Hodder Headline in 2004, Marlene became Managing Director of Hachette Children’s Books, making the merged business of Hodder Children’s Books, including Wayland, and Franklin Watts one of the UK’s largest and continually successful children’s publishers. Hachette Children’s Books publishes a roster of outstanding writers for children including David Almond, Giles Andreae, Lauren
Child, Cressida Cowell, Mick Inkpen, James Mayhew, David Melling, Robert Muchamore and the Rainbow Magic and Beast Quest series. HCB is the marketleading publisher of curriculum-based lists for the UK and international education and library markets. In 2012 Marlene led the successful acquisition and integration into HCB of the perpetual world rights to the copyright estate of Enid Blyton. Hilary Murray Hill Hilary began her publishing career at Reed. She worked in sales and marketing at the Carlton Publishing Group and then at Usborne where she was UK Trade Sales and Marketing Director from 2001 to 2005. She joined Scholastic as UK Sales and Marketing Director and, in 2009, she was appointed Managing Director – Children’s Books. In 2013 Scholastic was given The Bookseller Award for Children’s Publisher of the Year. In early 2014 Hilary was appointed Managing Director of Egmont Publishing’s Book Division. Fiona Kennedy and Orion Children’s Books Fiona Kennedy, Managing Director and Publisher of Orion Children's Books and Indigo, has shaped the careers of some of today's best-selling, prize-winning authors including Sally Gardner, Alan Gibbons, Liz Kessler, Caroline Lawrence, Annabel Pitcher, Lauren St John, Marcus Sedgwick and Francesca Simon. Fiona, who has won the prestigious Branford Boase Award twice, is highly respected for the quality of her fiction lists and for the rapidly developing non-fiction list. Alongside major brands such as Horrid Henry, Asterix, and Deadly 60, the list includes celebrity authors Steve Backshall, Pippa Funnell and Holly and Kelly Willoughby. Karen Ball and L,BYR Karen joined L,BYR in 2013 from Working Partners, where she was Head of Editorial. Amongst L,BYR’s most notable successes are Frank Lampard’s Frankie’s Magic Football series, the Ever After High and Monster High brands, and Chris Colfer’s Land of Stories series. Karen is also a successful children’s author in her own right, with 19 books published or due for publication. Anne McNeil and Hodder Children’s Books Anne McNeil is Publishing Director of Hodder Children’s Books, an imprint encompassing best-selling brands, including the Enid Blyton estate, alongside prize winning individual voices. How to Train your Dragon, CHERUB, Hugless Douglas, Blyton and Deep Blue are amongst the many successes of the imprint, and Anne has helped shape the careers of such key talents including Robert Muchamore, Cressida Cowell, David Almond, Mick Inkpen and David Melling and many new writers including Alex T Smith and Steve Antony.
Orchard Books and Megan Larkin After her first tenure at Orchard Books as Head of Fiction, Megan left to launch a new list at Usborne, returning to the company as Publishing Director in 2011. From Orchard's roots in picture books and classic gift collections, Megan has grown a list of renowned writers and artists including Lauren Child, Giles Andreae,
James Mayhew, Jane Ray, Chris d'Lacey, Ally Carter, Teri Terry and Jonathan Meres. Her list is home to many perennial children’s favourites including Charlie and Lola and Giraffes Can't Dance, and leads the market in series fiction with the megaselling Rainbow Magic and Beast Quest and licensed character brand My Little Pony. Franklin Watts and Rachel Cooke Rachel Cooke has been the Publishing Director of Franklin Watts since 2005, and has worked on the list for over 19 years. Franklin Watts produces books for the UK and international library, trade and school markets. The list is largely nonfiction but includes reading resources for emergent readers and, more recently, reluctant readers. Rachel and her team pride themselves on producing books that children find fun to read but that still maintain the highest possible educational value.
Wayland and Debbie Foy Debbie Foy has been at Hachette Children's Books for five years and has recently been promoted to head the Wayland publishing team as Editorial Director. Debbie spent four years as a teacher in Japan and the UK, before joining the Quarto Group for eight years. Debbie is committed to achieving the highest standards of concept, design and imagery for non-fiction as the highly successful and Blue Peter Award shortlisted World of Infographics series demonstrates. Clare Somerville Clare Somerville started her publishing career at Penguin and has worked in a variety of senior sales and marketing roles at Reed, Transworld, Egmont, Watts Publishing Group and Harlequin where she spearheaded development in South Asia. She joined Hachette Children’s Books in January 2013 as Deputy Managing Director. Atom Atom is the YA imprint of Little, Brown and is remaining as part of the Little, Brown Book Group. Atom’s authors include Stephenie Meyer, PC and Kristin Cast, CJ Daugherty, and Melissa de la Cruz.