President and Publisher of Random House Children’s Books Chip Gibson is stepping down after 10 years of running the division and 30 years at Random House. CEO Markus Dohle writes that “with Children’s enjoying a successful 2012, and well set for the future, Chip feels he has accomplished almost everything he originally set out to do professionally. Now, he wants to take an extended break from work.” Dohle added, “Chip has transformed the workplace culture at Children’s and impacted young readers everywhere — not just with their beloved books but also with their genuine commitment to philanthropy and community service.”
He is replaced immediately by Barbara Marcus, who returns to her first full-time position since stepping down as president of Scholastic in 2005. (Gibson will depart at the end of this week; Marcus has started meeting the team, and will formally take over later this month.) Marcus will join Random House’s worldwide board as well. Dohle adds: “Barbara is one of the most qualified, and sought-after, children’s books leaders in our industry, as revered for her publishing track record as she is for her great heart and team-building — values that align with the Random House culture. And this is why Barbara agreed to join us and help shape the future of the world’s most special trade book publishing company.”
Since leaving Scholastic, Marcus’s consulting and strategic innovations work has included serving as an advisor to both Penguin Children’s and Macmillan Children’s, as well as working with Open Road on their children’s program. Marcus will remain on the advisory board at Open Road (where she recruited Timothy Travaglini as director of children’s acquisitions this spring).
Marcus tells us, “When this came along, I knew I was ready” to return to a full-time publishing position. Since “they are a very successful organization” with “a team that is very professional and really accomplished,” her plan to is “to understand that first, and then see what I can add to that.”