Former Hachette UK c.e.o. Tim Hely Hutchinson has been awarded the Légion d’Honneur for his promotion of Anglo-French relations.
Hachette c.e.o. Arnaud Nourry (pictured below with Hely Hutchinson) bestowed the honour, given to those who serve France’s interests or enhance its prestige, at a ceremony in the Institut Francais, South Kensington, this week.
Hely Hutchinson, who retired in 2017 after first leading the firm when it was set up in 2004, was given the award for outstanding promotion of good Anglo-French relations and his “committed dissemination of international literature”.
In his speech, Nourry recalled how Hely Hutchinson first helped Hachette Livre establish itself in the UK. He said: "Tim became an unapologetic advocate for the French connection, and his enthusiasm infected his own Board of Directors. With his help, Hachette Livre won hearts and minds at Hodder Headline.
“All it took to cement a friendly takeover was an offer W H Smith could not refuse. When I called Tim to let him know we had signed the contract, he was overjoyed. With that acquisition, it must be stressed that Hachette Livre, a French company that was founded in 1826, took its first major step towards becoming an international player, and a significant amount of the credit lies with Tim Hely Hutchinson."
“Tim stayed on as Chief Executive of the newly formed Hachette UK, leading the Hachette companies here and in the Commonwealth to dramatically new heights, attracting a dizzying array of bestselling authors and making acquisitions of over 20 new publishing houses, which propelled the company to the number one spot in British publishing for some years.”