Hale's role goes as Hachette's trade division managing directors appointed to board

Hale's role goes as Hachette's trade division managing directors appointed to board

Hachette UK has axed Lucy Hale’s role as part of a shake-up that sees all its trade division managing directors appointed to the board.

Jon Butler of Quercus, Nick Davies of John Murray Press, Headline’s Mari Evans, Katie Espiner from Orion, Charlie King of Little, Brown and Carolyn Mays of Hodder & Stoughton are all joining the Hachette UK board. Everyone except Mays will now report direct to c.e.o. David Shelley. Lucy Hale, deputy c.e.o. for Hodder & Stoughton, Quercus, Headline and John Murray, will leave the company at the end of this year.

Meanwhile, Hodder and Stoughton c.e.o and trade publishing director Jamie Hodder-Williams (pictured below right) will focus on growing Hodder, including creating a new, currently unnamed, business to cater for stories in non-print formats. He will recruit a new team with digital and audio experience from both inside and outside the book industry.

Hachette UK c.e.o. David Shelley said he was changing the structure to “give each division more creative autonomy and ensuring they have the backing of a modern central infrastructure”. He said: “We need to be dynamic and to change with the market, and I am confident that these promotions will mean that we have the right group of people leading our companies – and that they will help deliver the very best results for our authors, illustrators and business partners.”

He added: “I am also pleased to announce that we will be building up Hodder & Stoughton, one of our biggest divisions, further under Jamie Hodder-Williams’ leadership and investing in a new acquiring team to sit in that division. He, Carolyn and the Hodder team have been responsible for some of the biggest bestsellers in the UK of recent years and I am excited about the potential the new structure will give them to build a new business with a variety of new authors and help them find a wide readership.”

With the announcement of the board appointments, Hachette said the role of deputy c.e.o. of Hodder & Stoughton, Headline, Quercus and John Murray Press, held by Hale, ceases to exist. Hale, who was only promoted to the role last October, working alongside their managing directors, has decided to leave the firm at the end of the year “after much consideration”.

Hale joined Hodder in 2003 as sales director and, during her time at Hachette, has orchestrated publications for authors including David Mitchell, David Nicholls, Graham Norton, Peter Robinson and Jodi Picoult. She was also behind campaigns for Alex Ferguson, Miranda Hart and Deliciously Ella. More recently, working across divisions, she drove publication from authors including the Millennium novels, Mick Herron and Stephen Hawking.

She said: “I have loved my time at Hodder and more recently working with Headline, John Murray Press and Quercus and I will miss our many brilliant authors and passionate and talented colleagues. I know the authors will continue to thrive under the excellent leadership of these divisions as each of them grows bigger and stronger with more autonomy. I would particularly like to thank Jamie Hodder-Williams for being such an inspiring leader and good friend. I wish him and Carolyn every success with their exciting new plans for Hodder.”

Hodder-Williams said: “Lucy has been the most inspiring and passionate colleague and she has been responsible for driving some of our biggest acquisitions. She has a unique ability to steer a great book through to maximum success, whether it’s a big novel from a major international bestselling author, a big Christmas non-fiction hit or a small work of genius that deserves a bigger audience. She is a voracious reader who cares passionately about finding the widest possible readership for our authors. I will miss her enormously, and I know she will take her own unique passionate vision and energy to her next venture.”

Shelley added: “I want to pay tribute to the amazing work Lucy has done over the last 16 years at Hachette, and the contribution she has made to many publishing successes. Her dynamism and deep enthusiasm for books and authors will be missed by me and by everyone here. We all wish her really well for the future.”

In further changes at Carmelite House, rights director Rebecca Folland will take on an additional role, chairing a forum of the rights directors across Hachette UK, to coordinate and share best practice.  

The company is also creating a single trade publishing operations unit to make information and data accessible across the business and managing the availability of Hachette trade titles around the world. Ben Groves-Raines, currently c.o.o. of Orion and Little, Brown, will become publishing operations director to lead the team, reporting to Richard Kitson. He will also chair the Hachette UK Production Directors forum.

Jonathan Paterson, finance director of Hodder & Stoughton, will take on additional responsibilities within the finance team, working with the trade publishers to develop new strategies in selected businesses.