Jon Wood, Orion’s group publisher, is leaving the company after 18 years. He will continue to work with Orion as a consultant publisher on brand authors Ian Rankin and Joanne Harris.
Wood moved to Orion from Hodder in September 2000. During his tenure, he has run both the Orion Fiction and Gollancz imprints and served as group publisher since 2015. Along with Rankin and Harris, he has worked with authors such as Harlan Coben, Kate Mosse, Michelle Paver, Andy McNab and RJ Ellory in that time.
Wood said it was "a real wrench to part ways" but he was "also very happy to be continuing to work with Ian Rankin and Joanne Harris".
"It’s been an amazing 18 years at Orion," he said. "I have been surrounded throughout that time with brilliant books and even more brilliant colleagues. I have been so very proud to work for this special and unique publishing company and it’s a real wrench to part ways. Orion is once again going from strength to strength and I’m proud of the fact that I have, alongside Katie, been part of creating and nurturing that. I’m also very happy to be continuing to work with Ian Rankin and Joanne Harris – it was an opportunity too good to pass up."
Wood, whose notice period means he will be with Orion until September, told The Bookseller he was “keen to take some time off” after which he was “open to anything”, although most likely work in the publishing arena.
“I have been working here for 18 years – I find that a terrifying statistic," Wood told The Bookseller. "I felt I needed to take a break. I'm in my mid-forties now, I felt I needed to focus on the second half of my career ... I'm not going to rush into anything. It was entirely my decision, which I took a few weeks ago. I have been very happy in my situation with Orion, but you get to that point in your life where if you don’t go you’ll find yourself institutionalised and never leave! I felt like this is the right moment."
Katie Espiner, managing director of Orion, added: "Jon is a smart, creative, thoughtful publisher, and I feel very lucky to have had him by my side for the last two and a half years. He is a valued colleague, and a dear friend to so many at Orion and in the wider industry. I am delighted he will continue to work with us for a long time into the future with Ian and Joanne."