People: Heffernan to Retire from Penguin

Longtime president of adult hardcover and children's sales for Penguin Dick Heffernan will retire at the end of the year after more than 24 years with the company (and almost 40 years at a company enfolded into Penguin Random House).  PRH coo Madeline McIntosh notes with "much regret" after "[trying] very hard to persuade him to change his mind about retiring" that "working together with Dick during these first few months in our merged company has been a terrific experience for me, and for our Random House group, as it has always been for our Penguin colleagues. And with us having begun the collaborative process of forming the Penguin Random House sales department, Dick's deep knowledge of Penguin's people, books, and business practices has been invaluable in both getting our new company properly on course, and in continuing to motivate everyone to realize the sales potential of the Penguin Group lists under his direction."

McIntosh added: "With the same clear-eyed determination he has brought to selling Penguin books, Dick has remained steadfast in this personal choice. As hard as I know it will be for so many of us to say goodbye, I respect his decision, knowing he will be available to all of us, should we need advice in support of Penguin books and Penguin people."

Succeeding Heffernan, effective January 2, is John Lawton, currently vp, director of national accounts for Penguin's adult hardcover division. Of Lawton's promotion, McIntosh notes: "John has been valued by customers, publishers, and colleagues alike for his stellar ability to maximize the potential for our books in the marketplace, and for his acumen to think strategically and with foresight about the scope and direction of our business. His passion for our books is equaled by his effectiveness at getting them well-positioned at our accounts."

In other personnel news, Tara Singh Carlson has returned to Penguin Books as editor, after a brief period in legal recruiting at Sullivan and Cromwell.

Elissa Baillie will join Simon & Schuster Australia as sales director on January 10. She was most recently national accounts manager at Penguin Children's.

Former ceo of Pearson Marjorie Scardino joined the board of Twitter yesterday. She joined Twitter as a user, too: @marjscar

In distribution news, Simon & Schuster will handle sales and fulfillment for all adult titles published by Reader's Digest as of January 1. S&S has handled sales and fulfillment for Reader's Digest Children's titles since 1999. Penguin has distributed the adult titles in the US, and in Canada they have been sold by Ampersand and distributed by Georgetown Terminal Warehouses.