Communications director Helen Richardson leaves Orion after almost 20 years

Communications director Helen Richardson leaves Orion after almost 20 years

Orion's group publicity and communications director Helen Richardson has left the Orion Publishing Group "to pursue new opportunities" after almost 20 years with the company.

Richardson, who joined Orion Books in 1999 as publicity director from Transworld, was promoted to lead the group publicity team in 2014 working across all Orion’s imprints. Over the course of her career to date she has overseen PR for bestselling brand authors such as Michael Connelly and Ian Rankin, as well as leading campaigns for Antonia Fraser, Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai and Phillipe Sands' East West Street, named Non-Fiction Book of the Year 2017 at The British Book Awards.

Orion confirmed Richardson will be replaced, with news of her replacement to follow "very soon".

Managing director of Orion Katie Espiner said: "Helen has been the cornerstone of our outstanding and award-winning publicity team for nearly 20 years, leading and overseeing agenda-setting campaigns. She has always been a dedicated, collegiate and hardworking colleague and we are all sad to see her go. We all wish Helen every success in the next exciting chapter of her career."

Richardson said she was ready for "a new challenge". "I have really enjoyed my time at Orion. I’ve been lucky enough to lead such an incredibly talented, committed and fun team of publicists past and present. Publicity is at the heart of the company and I am proud of the job I have done in building such a successful department. I have loved working with our amazing authors and will miss my colleagues enormously, but I have been at Orion for nearly 20 years and the time is right for a new challenge," she said. "I am really excited about thinking about the next stage in my career."

Richardson is contactable at Helen.RichardsonPR@gmail.com.

The news follows that of other senior departures, including Kirsty Dunseath, publisher of W&N Fiction, who left in October after 16 years, and Jon Wood, Orion’s group publisher, who left in April after 18 years.