Hachette's Lucy Hale promoted, Rob Manser to lead restructured group sales

Hachette's Lucy Hale promoted, Rob Manser to lead restructured group sales

Hachette UK has promoted Lucy Hale to deputy c.e.o. of Hodder & Stoughton, Headline, John Murray Press and Quercus, while also creating a new UK group sales department led by Rob Manser, in an expanded role.

In the newly created role of deputy c.e.o., Hale will be working alongside managing directors Carolyn Mays, Mari Evans, Nick Davies and Jon Butler. She steps up to the role after four years' leading the Hodder & Stoughton, Headline, Hachette Children’s Books and Quercus sales team, and will now have responsibility for "creating, driving and delivering publishing strategies across the companies and their imprints" and for "leading and supporting business acquisitions for the division". She will work with the publicity, marketing and art departments and is also tasked in supporting the editorial teams to create and acquire new projects for global markets. 

Jamie Hodder-Williams, HHJQ's c.e.o., who will now be working more closely with Hale to achieve "ambitious" growth for the division, paid tribute to Hale as "a brilliant publisher". 

"She has a first-class commercial brain and a forensic knowledge of our markets at home and abroad. Working closely with our authors, she has demonstrated time and again that her peerless vision, her energy, dedication and enthusiasm in delivering campaigns ensures that every book reaches its full potential, often turning a great book into a great bestseller," he said. "I am delighted that, in stepping up into this new role, she will be working even more closely with our authors and their agents and that, furthermore, she and I will be working closely together to deliver each company’s ambitious plans for growth."

Meanwhile Manser, formerly sales director of Little, Brown Book Group and Orion Publishing Group, is to become the group sales director of Hachette UK, a newly created position that stems from an impending restructure of Hachette's existing UK sales departments into one group department. Details of the restructure will follow in November, with Manser starting in his new role on the 1st of that month. A Hachette spokesperson declined to anticipate whether the restructure would involve any job losses.

Richard Kitson, deputy c.e.o. of Hachette UK, said the decision to consolidate its sales departments into one group department was made in response to UK customers' comments and requirements and "the ever-evolving market".

"Our current sales structure has served us very well for many years but changes in our markets mean that we want to adapt our approach to better serve the needs of our customers and our authors. We are therefore creating a group sales department which will be led by Rob Manser," he said. 

"David Shelley and I have consulted our UK customers and the creation of a group sales department is in response to their comments and requirements and the ever-evolving market. The new group sales department will continue to serve our federal publishing structure, working closely with the Managing Directors and publishing teams of each division, but it will do so in a way that better reflects the current market."

Kitson said of Manser he had already made "an enormous contribution" to the company - first to Little, Brown where he was sales, marketing and publicity director and latterly to Little, Brown and Orion where he was sales director - and had "proven time and again that he is a brilliant and strategic sales director". "I know that he will be a considerable asset to the wider Hachette group in this new and exciting role and I am looking forward very much to working closely with him," he said.

Commenting on their respective new roles, Hale and Manser both showed their enthusiasm for bringing authors' work to a broader, international audience.

Hale said: "In today’s market, successful publishing is all about creating reader demand and ensuring that we deliver our books to potential readers wherever they are and however they want to read them. I’m really excited to be working with Jamie and the managing directors to take all our existing imprints and new businesses to the next stage in their development and to finding new ways to bring our authors to the widest possible international audience."

Manser said: "I am delighted to be taking on group sales for Hachette. I have been very fortunate in my career here, firstly at Little, Brown and more recently, Little, Brown and Orion, and I’m now really looking forward to working more closely with the other Hachette divisions. I’m also very excited about the opportunities to work more collaboratively with our customers and bring our authors’ work to the widest possible audience."