Anna Bond appointed Octopus m.d., as Goff departs

Anna Bond appointed Octopus m.d., as Goff departs

Pan Macmillan sales and brand director Anna Bond is leaving the publisher after 17 years to join Hachette UK as managing director of Octopus Publishing Group. She will succeed current Octopus chief executive Alison Goff, who is stepping down later this year after 21 years with the company. 

Reporting in to c.e.o. David Shelley, Bond will join the board of Hachette UK, starting in her new role on 2nd October 2020. 

In the light of her departure, Pan Macmillan has announced an expanded role for its communications director, Sara Lloyd, and the forthcoming recruitment of a new UK sales chief.

Bond said: "I am proud to have been part of Pan Macmillan’s success story over the last decade and will miss the brilliant team there hugely. Octopus Publishing Group contains a wide variety of lists and opportunities and I am looking forward to working with the teams there to create a new success story. I am also delighted to be joining David Shelley’s management team at Hachette UK who are not only delivering commercial success, but also really leading the way in ‘changing the story’ for UK publishing."

Bond spent the last 17 years at Pan Macmillan working primarily in sales. She started as key account manager in 2003, becoming UK sales director and joining the executive board in 2005. In 2018, she was promoted to sales and brand director, adding to her UK sales responsibility the role of coordinating the publishers and commercial teams around Pan Macmillan’s biggest authors. Prior to Pan Macmillan, she spent some time in Australia working for Allen & Unwin, having started her publishing career at Orion. She was also chair of the World Book Day executive committee in 2017.

Welcoming Bond to Hachette UK, Shelley said he had "long admired from afar her dynamism, passion and understanding of consumer behaviour".

He said: "The results she has achieved at Pan Macmillan as sales director and, latterly, sales and brand director, speak for themselves and she has also done so much for the industry generally, notably her work with literacy charities, including World Book Day. She is also, famously, a fantastic, collegiate person to work with and I am looking forward to her joining the Hachette UK Board where I know her experience will be hugely valuable.

“I believe Anna is the very best person to take the baton from Alison and to work with the team at Octopus to lead them to new heights. I am very ambitious for Octopus and believe that Anna has a clear vision for their future, which will help deliver even more growth and success for that business and its authors in the coming years."

Shelley also paid tribute to outgoing Octopus m.d. Alison Goff, whom he commended for putting together "an incredible team", led with "great strength and purpose", as well as "nurturing their award-winning list of authors."

"I will miss her greatly, notably her refreshing straightforwardness, decisiveness and professionalism, which really mark her out," he said.

"She has also transformed the business greatly over the past three years, leading the acquisitions of Summersdale, Kyle and, most recently, Short Books. And she has been instrumental in helping to pivot the Octopus business from almost purely illustrated to an exciting mixture of illustrated and narrative non-fiction through the creation of imprints including Aster, Endeavour and Monoray.

"I would also like to thank Alison for her work on the Hachette UK Board over the past two decades, where she has added considerable value. We all wish Alison well and look forward to staying in close touch with her as a friend of the house."

Goff said she had enjoyed 21 "very happy" years at Octopus but felt "now is the right time to step down".

"It has been a great privilege to be able to build on the legacy of some of the best-known imprints in illustrated publishing, working with amazing colleagues and authors," Goff said. "The businesses I’ve brought into the group over the past few years have been exciting additions and, together with the three new imprints we’ve launched, put Octopus on a strong path – I look forward to watching the group flourish. I’m incredibly proud of the team I’ve built and what we’ve achieved together, and I know I’ll miss them all, but I am looking forward to having some time before new challenges ahead."

Ahead of Bond's departure, Pan Macmillan has announced various changes to its senior team as it "refocuses key commercial roles".

Communications director Lloyd will now also lead author brand development, adding this to her existing responsibility for Pan Mac communications in a new and broader role. The change brings senior brand manager Charlotte Williams and senior brand executive Jade Tolley into the communications group, reporting to Lloyd, and combines the company's consumer research and brand insight activities under Lloyd.  

The process has been initiated to hire a new UK sales chief and in the interim, Pan Mac’s UK sales operation will be led by a management team comprising its four senior sales directors, Sarah Clarke, Stuart Dwyer, Brid Enright and Christine Jones. 

Commenting on Bond's departure, Forbes Watson said: "Anna leaves with our warmest wishes for the next stage in her career and our sincere thanks for the very substantial contribution she has made to Pan Mac over 17 years of loyal and distinguished service. Anna has led our UK sales operation through a period of extraordinary growth, and over the last two years as brand director, she has very effectively brought together cross-company commercial support and development plans for our biggest authors. We are fortunate to be able to call on such exceptionally strong and talented individuals to lead our UK sales team though these demanding times, and to maintain and build on our growth momentum.”

He continued, remarking on Lloyd's broader remit: "Sara has been a key player in the transformation of Pan Mac over the last 10 years as she has overhauled our communications capability and has made a substantial contribution more widely as a highly valued member of my Exec team. I’m delighted that Sara will now take on additional responsibility for the leadership of author brand development, a crucial role in support of our publishers. The alignment of author brand development with comms is highly complementary, marrying the consumer expertise, partnership brokering and outward-looking orientation of our comms team with the cross-functional focus, analysis and co-ordination of our brand development process."

Lloyd said: "I’m looking forward to building on the work that Geoff Duffield and Anna Bond have done to establish our brand authors as a key focus for the business. By integrating our brand and communications teams my vision is to bring the best of both disciplines together to develop market-driven strategies for our author brands, bringing actionable market data together with consumer insight to inform our growth strategies and facilitating ever deeper collaboration across departments towards clear, shared goals. I am particularly delighted to be welcoming Charlotte Williams and Jade Tolley into the wider Comms team; I’ve been lucky enough to work with them as part of the brand teams on many authors and books over the last few years and couldn’t think of better colleagues to work with as I take on this new remit."