Andy Sharp, group rights director at Hachette Children’s Group, will leave his position in July before embarking on a new career as a teacher.
Sharp said he wanted to make the move to “the other side of the books” and help improve literacy.
“The decision to change careers crept up on me gradually,” he told The Bookseller. “I have been coaching my younger son’s rugby team for several years, taken part in a year six book club via Hachette as well as volunteering with a fantastic charity in Hackney, The Literacy Pirates. All of this experience has shown me how rewarding I find teaching children. The calling in my ear became increasingly loud until I just couldn’t ignore it any more. The ‘clincher’ moment came when I was in a school earlier this year. I just looked around the classroom and realised that is the setting I want to be in.
“Leaving publishing feels bittersweet but I am happy to be leaving on a high and move towards such a positive future.”
Sharp, who won rights professional of the year at this year’s British Book Awards, began his career at Cassell and then Aladdin Books. He became rights executive at Hodder Children’s Books in 1998 and the team at Hachette has grown from 40 to 130 members of staff.
The search for his replacement is ongoing, he said.