Jens Bammel, secretary general of the International Publishers Association (IPA), is to step down from his role.
Bammel has led the IPA since 2003, but will step down ahead of the 2015 Frankfurt Book Fair.
Bammel told The Bookseller: "It's been 11 and a half years, a lengthy stretch, and it's been a joy. Publishing is a special kind of industry. I've no specific plans but will be looking for an international function again, hopefully for an area as pleasant and fun. I now have a great secretariat that will be able to carry even a novice secretary general a long way; I know the IPA is in good hands." He added that he hoped his next role would involve his particular passions, early literacy and education.
Bammel said one area he felt the IPA had been most proactive in during his time as secretary general was in getting education publishers together to see the value in promoting partnership with policymakers and tech companies; another was its work on accessibility for the visually impaired. Over the past decade, the biggest change he had seen was the increasing need for collaboration, including with customers and also with other publishers, he added. "The digital marketplace needs development, standards; collective licensing has grown in importance; piracy - you can't go after it alone. For people as fiercely competitive as publishers are, this is a new experience."
IPA president Richard Charkin said: "Jens has served IPA admirably for more than a decade with enthusiasm, vision and success. He has been a prominent fixture of the global publishing network, serving on many boards, advisory groups and committees. His departure will be sad for IPA, its friends, employees and members. The IPA officers, executive committee and I wish him all the best for his personal and professional future. We hope he will stay close to publishing.”
Bammel began his career as a lawyer, working for the UK Periodical Publishers Association and the Publishers Licensing Society before joining the IPA.
Bammel, together with Charkin, presided over this week's IPA Congress in Bangkok. The 31st IPA Congress will be held in the UK next year.