Rakuten Installs Japanese CEO At Kobo, and More People News

Kobo's parent company Rakuten has installed Takahito "Taka" Aiki as the new ceo of Kobo, effective immediately, with founder and ceo Michael Serbinis stepping aside into the role of vice chairman. Aiki was ceo of another Rakuten subsidiary, the Japanese telecom unit Fusion Communications.

In a statement reported on by the Financial Post, Rakuten said, "Taka brings to the role a wealth of experience in building and growing successful projects and companies, and has built his career on achieving ambitious goals and forging strong teams." It is said that he will relocate to Kobo's headquarters in Toronto. According to his LinkedIn page, he is a graduate of Cornell as well as their S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management, and he previously worked at Bain & Company. (There's some other Kobo news we've been waiting on for a while, but this wasn't it.)

On the events calendar, the Association of American Publishers announced some of the speakers for their annual meeting on March 19 in New York, focused on The Next Chapter in Protecting IP:  Policy, Disruption, Innovation and Sustainability. Ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet Rep. Jerry Nadler will discuss Congress's first comprehensive review of copyright law since 1976 with AAP ceo Tom Allen.

Author Jaron Lanier will speak, as will Forrester Research analyst James McQuivey, with a keynote speaker still to be named.

In awards news, Poets & Writers will honor Kate Medina at Random House with their Editor's Award at their annual benefit event on March 11.  Ian Frazier, Haki R. Madhubuti, and Joyce Carol Oates will receive their 2014 Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Awards.

In other personnel news, at Tarcher/Penguin, Brianna Yamashita has been promoted to executive director, marketing & publicity. In addition, Andrew Yackira moves up to associate editor.

Scottie Bowditch will join Macmillan as director of the Macmillan Speakers Bureau on February 24. Previously she was director of school and library marketing for the Penguin Young Readers Group.

The 15 (plus 2) Best-Selling Backlist Titles from the Library of America series in 2013 http://blog.loa.org/2014/02/the-library-of-americas-best-selling.html …

At Grand Central, Stephanie Sirabian has been promoted to marketing operations manager.

At Ten Speed Press, Kristin Casemore has been promoted to publicity director.

John Davis has joined Central Recovery Press as special sales manager. He was on the special sales team at Zagat.

In the UK, Gillian Redfearn has been promoted to publishing director of Gollancz, while Jon Wood takes on the role of managing director in addition to his current duties as Orion deputy group publisher.

Amending our earlier list of Penguin Random House's cross-company senior executive appointments from Tuesday, James Johnston is SVP, worldwide reporting and planning, and Tom Stefanik is group controller. Additionally, David Sanford, as vp, executive director, publishing contracts for Random House, retains primary responsibility for that portion of the company's contracts.