Shelley Takes the Helm at Hachette Book Group, Pietsch Transitions to Chairman

In a significant leadership shift, Hachette Book Group (HBG) is set to welcome a new era under the guidance of David Shelley, who will step into the role of CEO, effective January 1. Publishers Weekly is reporting that this change comes as Michael Pietsch, the current CEO, prepares to retire and assume the position of chairman for the following year.

This move is part of a broader strategy to strengthen the collaboration between Hachette’s US and UK branches. The recent announcement introduces a “new English language management structure,” which aims to foster greater synergy between these two key divisions of the global publishing giant.

As CEO of both Hachette Book Group and Hachette UK, Shelley’s new role symbolizes a merger of expertise and ambition. He will be reporting to the top brass at Hachette Livre, including Deputy CEO Stéphanie Ferran and Chairman and CEO Arnaud Lagardère. Joining Shelley in this new structure is Richard Kitson, who will serve as Deputy CEO for both HBG and HUK.

Pietsch, a seasoned veteran in the publishing world, isn’t stepping away entirely. In his upcoming role as chairman, he aims to continue nurturing the company’s vital author relationships, a testament to his enduring commitment to the literary community.

Simultaneously, Joe Mangan, HBG’s COO, has also announced his retirement, marking another key transition within the company.

The geographical logistics of these changes are noteworthy. Shelley is slated to spend the majority of his time in the US, returning to the UK for one week in every five. Conversely, Kitson will primarily be based in the UK, allocating one week every month to US operations.

Arnaud Lagardère, expressing confidence in this new leadership dynamic, emphasized the potential for growth and unity under this restructured leadership. He praised Shelley’s remarkable track record at Hachette UK and expressed optimism about the future of Hachette’s English language publishing.

Pietsch, reflecting on his tenure, highlighted the achievements and transformations HBG has experienced, expressing enthusiasm for the company’s future under Shelley’s leadership.

Shelley himself, honored by the appointment, expressed his eagerness to lead both divisions and to work closely with the teams across the Atlantic. He paid homage to Pietsch’s influence and leadership, eagerly anticipating the collaboration in their new roles.

This leadership transition marks a pivotal moment for Hachette Book Group. With a blend of new energy and seasoned experience, the company is poised to navigate the evolving landscape of the publishing world, bolstered by a renewed commitment to its authors and readers.

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Tina Pavlik

Owner of TRS since 2003

An aficionado of romance novels for many years, Tina has owned The Romance Studio since 2003 and for 20 years, has enjoyed highlighting the best books in the genre. She enjoys all aspects of marketing including writing content, book trailer design, and finding captivating new books for voracious readers. She has also written over 20 romance titles under various pen names. In another life, she writes horror and works as an extras casting assistant for TV shows and films in the North Carolina and South Carolina regions.