Fiona Kennedy leaves Hachette Children's Books

Fiona Kennedy leaves Hachette Children's Books

Orion Children’s Books' managing director and publisher Fiona Kennedy is leaving the company "to pursue other interests".

Kennedy published some of the biggest names in children’s books during her time at Orion, including Francesca Simon, author of the Horrid Henry series, Lauren St John and MalalaYousafzai. She also oversaw the launch of Orion Children’s YA imprint Indigo in 2011. 

Hachette UK c.e.o. Tim Hely Hutchinson said of Kennedy's departure: “We are very grateful to Fiona for her contribution to Orion and most recently to the Hachette Children’s Group. She has published many brilliant writers in her time with the company including Francesca Simon, Lauren St John, Sally Gardner, Annabel Pitcher and Marcus Sedgwick.​

"She leaves with our warmest thanks and very best wishes."

A replacement for the m.d./publisher role will be sought "in the near future", Hely Hutchinson said.

Hachette has also confirmed that "a small number of roles" have been made redundant over the past year as part of the consolidation of its children's businesses into a single division, although some of those concerned continue to work with the company on a consultancy basis.

A spokesperson noted: "We have made five high profile appointments in HCG in the last six months or so, so the broader picture is one of creating a new division which is placing a greater emphasis on some areas of publishing."

Hachette UK's three children's businesses merged into a single unit at the beginning of 2015 after Hilary Murray Hill stepped into the role of c.e.o.

Five high-profile appointments have been made in the last year to HCG, including in June 2015 Rob Ince as education and non-fiction publisher, Nick Gibson as finance director and Katie Price, former global director of publishing at HIT Entertainment and Mattel, as licensing director; and Heather Crossley, previously publisher of Ladybird Books, to the newly created role of pre-school and baby publisher in July 2015.