President of Macmillan Brian Napack will be departing the company “in the weeks to come” after five years in order to “pursue new opportunities”. (Napack told us those plans will be made public at a later date.) According to a staff memo circulated earlier this week, Napack will stay with Macmillan through the end of the year full-time and “work as needed beyond that to ensure a smooth transition,” which he and ceo John Sargent are in the process of preparing.
“This will be a big adjustment for all of us and a particularly sad one for me,” Sargent said in the announcement. “Brian and I have been working side by side for more than five years. In that time, Macmillan has had a great deal of success. The Company has made lots of progress in transforming for the digital future, and we have faced many challenges that will define our industry for years to come.”
Sargent added that Napack provided “strong leadership and effective management for our publishers on both the Trade and Education sides of our business” and that “his leadership on the digital side of our business has positioned us to compete in a world that is being defined by eBooks, mobile devices, digital learning, digital marketing, online retail, and more. His work on behalf of the industry has made a major impact in Washington and around the country.”
“The last five years at Macmillan have been very satisfying,” Napack said in the memo. “We have taken on many challenges together and have had good results on all sides of our business. There is always more to do, but it is clear that [Macmillan] is well positioned for continued success as a digital publishing and digital education company.”
In other personnel news, national accounts manager for Simon & Schuster Jane Rice is retiring on December 30 after 29 years with the company. Rice was most recently responsible for managing S&S’s business with Target. “I will personally miss her unflagging support, her quick wit, and her always straightforward feedback,” said vp, director of distributed sales and marketing Gary Urda in a letter to staff. “But mostly I will miss her passion for books: it was that love for books, combined with her many other fine qualities as an account manager, that enabled Jane to successfully find audiences for many authors over her career in the publishing industry, and for this we are forever grateful.”
Shannon Welch will join Scribner as senior editor on January 9. She was most recently executive editor at Rodale.
Meghan Quinn has joined Prometheus Books as publicist.