Hely Hutchinson to retire, Shelley to take Hachette UK c.e.o. role

Hely Hutchinson to retire, Shelley to take Hachette UK c.e.o. role

Tim Hely Hutchinson is retiring as c.e.o. of Hachette UK at the end of this year, with David Shelley, currently c.e.o. of Little, Brown Book Group and Orion, set to take on the Hachette c.e.o. role.

Shelley, 41, will become c.e.o. Hachette UK (HUK), reporting to Arnaud Nourry, from 1st January 2018. He will then become a member of the International Board of Hachette Livre and a Director of Hachette Book Group (HBG) in the USA. Hely Hutchinson will be staying on to act as a consultant to the Group until the end of 2018.

Shelley will join Hachette UK’s Executive Committee as c.e.o. designate from 1st July this year. 

Arnaud Nourry called Shelley "an outstanding publisher" and said "he will be an inspiring and inspired c.e.o.", while Shelley said he felt "honoured and humbled" and "excited, too" to be taking on the role.

Shelley took up the position of c.e.o. for L,BBG and Orion less than two years ago in July 2015. L,BBG and Orion's m.d.s, Charlie King and Katie Espiner, will continue to report in to Shelley, and there will be no appointment of a new c.e.o. for L,BBG and Orion.

Hely Hutchinson, 63, who has been the c.e.o. of HUK since it was founded in 2004, said: “I have been superbly supported by Arnaud, my present and former colleagues and our authors throughout these golden years at Hachette and I could not possibly be more grateful. I know that David and his colleagues will do brilliantly when they take over and I wish them the very best of good fortune. I have always, since my early Macmillan days, loved being part of the publishing world because of its wonderful people and look forward to staying in touch with my author, agent and publishing friends and having time to enjoy my many outside interests with them.” 

In other developments, Jamie Hodder-Williams, at present c.e.o. of Hodder & Stoughton, John Murray Press, Headline and Quercus, will, in addition to his present responsibilities, become director of trade publishing of HUK from 1st January 2018. This new role will involve spearheading Hachette’s international rights deal business, working with sister companies, and will see him join the international board of Hachette Livre to whom he will have responsibility for the Group’s world rights adult publishing. He will also join the board of Hachette Book Group in the USA. Hodder-Williams will also join Hachette UK’s Executive Committee from 1st July this year.

Richard Kitson, at present group commercial director of HUK and a member of HUK’s Executive Committee, will become deputy c.e.o. of Hachette UK from 1st January 2018.

Lis Tribe, group managing director of Hodder Education and the new president of the Publishers Association, will join the Executive Committee of HUK from 1st July this year. Emily-Jane Taylor, at present finance director of Little, Brown Book Group and Orion, will become director of financial planning and analysis of HUK from 1st January 2018. She will report to Pierre de Cacqueray, group finance director of Hachette UK. Chris Emerson, chief operating officer of Hachette UK since 2008 and chair of the International Group of c.o.o.s and Pierre de Cacqueray, group finance director of Hachette UK since 2004 complete the Executive Committee of HUK.

Paying tribute to both Hely Hutchinson and Shelley, Nourry said: "I wish Tim had decided to stay for longer but he is famously a planner and he has been working towards a crescendo with great results and superb acquisitions and the move into HUK’s beautiful riverside home at Carmelite House. He has had an amazing career, including the founding of Headline, then Hodder Headline and finally working as my business partner to create and expand Hachette UK. To my mind, his greatest legacy is all the talent he has recruited and developed, including the senior team whose appointments we are announcing today, but also more deeply throughout the company. He has always striven to run a talented and happy house, as well as a successful one, and he has succeeded. I am so glad he is staying with us until the end of 2018 to help the new management and I will be wishing him a very long and happy retirement when the time comes.” 

He continued: "I have been very fortunate to be able to make all the appointments announced today from within HUK. This next generation of leaders is extraordinarily able: David is an outstanding publisher and he will be an inspiring and inspired c.e.o., Jamie has first class publishing vision, leadership skills and marketing flair and Richard has an unparalleled knowledge of our print and digital markets in the UK and overseas. Along with Lis, Chris and Pierre, who make up the Executive Committee, the rest of the UK board and the exceptionally gifted group of publishers heading up our publishing divisions, Hachette is in great hands. It is a house brimming with brilliant ideas and creativity at every level. This is a moment to salute the successes of the past and the present and to look forward to a spectacular future.”

Shelley said: “I feel honoured and humbled to be taking on this role – and incredibly excited, too. I have an immense amount of admiration for Tim: he has created a special and successful publishing Group, of which I have long been proud to be a part. A peerless businessperson, he is also kind, fair and loyal and on both a personal and a professional level I will miss him hugely. He has taught me so much, and I anticipate learning much more from him next year in his role as consultant. 

“Tim has built all facets of the business up extremely skilfully and this is a particularly vibrant time for Hachette – as evidenced by some great wins at the Nibbies last week. I am looking forward to working particularly closely with Jamie in his new role, which will be so pivotal for our trade publishing and for Hachette globally, with Lis who has created a dynamic, highly successful educational division, with Richard whose many achievements and skills are reflected in his appointment as deputy c.e.o. and with Pierre whose wise counsel has served Tim and the rest of the company so well. This couldn’t be a more exciting time in terms of Hachette’s infrastructure: work is well underway on our new warehouse and our new royalties system and I look forward enormously to working with Chris, our outstanding c.e.o., on these and other projects in the future.

“Hachette is unmatched for the sheer range of its publishing and I am going to enjoy working closely with Jon Butler, Nick Davies, Katie Espiner, Mari Evans, Alison Goff, Hilary Murray Hill, Charlie King, Carolyn Mays and Oliver Rhodes and the divisions they lead, with the talented and highly successful secondary and primary publishing teams in Hodder Education, with Richard and our overseas companies in Australia, India, Ireland and New Zealand and with Oli Christie and the team at Neon Play.

“Hachette is a fantastic place to work and there are so many brilliant projects that people are engaged in to make this a more inclusive, diverse company. I thoroughly enjoy working with my colleagues across the Group on the many initiatives we have already put in place, and those we plan for the future, to ensure that Hachette continues to be both a really happy place and a business that makes a contribution to society.

“Lastly, I am a voracious reader and have long admired many writers published by other divisions, so it is a particular thrill to know that I will soon get to meet many more of our authors in person.” 

Hodder-Williams said: "Tim has been an inspiration and the driving force behind Hodder Headline and Hachette for so many years. He knows the true value of talent and has built a business packed with creativity, and an incredible array of diverse authors from all around the world, in every category. He has also taught many of us the importance of good quality catering! Thankfully he will still be available to us to provide guidance over the next year, and I am sure beyond that as a friend."

Hodder-Williams described Shelley as "a brilliant appointment for Hachette - a true publisher who sees and creates opportunities both for writers and for the business."

You can read Philip Jones' reaction to the announcement here