President and publisher of Crown’s WaterBrook Multnomah Steve Cobb “has decided that he is ready to embark on the next chapter of his life and will be retiring in March 2015,” Crown president Maya Mavjee announced. A founding executive of WaterBrook in 1996, when the imprint was launched as an autonomous evangelical Christian division of then Bantam Doubleday Dell, he “has led and managed a business that has realized consistent profitability while building an extraordinary legacy as a nurturer of author talent.”
Crown’s svp, publisher of Christian Publishing Tina Constable wrote to staff that with Cobb’s transition “we are at a transformative moment in the life of the Crown Publishing Group’s religious publishing program…. Religious publishing is a core business for us—and one that we are strongly invested in growing, by building upon the firm foundation established under Steve.” David C Cook publisher Alexander Field will join WaterBrook Multnomah December 1 in the new position of vp, publisher, reporting to Constable, who calls him “a true rising star in the Christian publishing community and a man of deep and humble faith.” Editorial is among the departments reporting to Field, led by editorial director Laura Barker, as the editor-in-chief position “has been eliminated, and regrettably,” Kenneth Petersen is leaving the company at the end of this month.
Going forward, Convergent Books will be run out of New York under David Kopp, who is promoted to vp, executive editor and will relocate in January 2015. New York staff adding responsibility for Convergent include Crown Business and Crown Forum associate publisher Campbell Wharton, who will also be associate publisher for Convergent, with marketing and publicity overseen by executive director, marketing Donna Passannante and executive director of publicity. The Image Books operations and staff will continue unchanged, now reporting directly to Constable.
Scholastic announced a number of recent hires for its Klutz imprint. Hannah Rogge has been named director of product development. Previously she designed and built window displays for Ralph Lauren. Caitlin Harpin has joined as senior product editor. Previously she was an associate editor at Potter Craft. Katie Benezra has been named senior designer, moving over from becker&mayer! Flora Kim has joined as product editor. Most recently, she was a freelance editor and writer, specializing in nonfiction and activity books. Barrie Zipkin has been named assistant managing editor, moving over from Scholastic’s classroom magazines division, where she was a production editor. Finally, Emily Feliberty has joined as marketing manager. Most recently, she was assistant manager, marketing & brand strategy at Toys R Us.
Amelia Possanza has joined Touchstone as a publicist. She was formerly an associate publicist at Little, Brown.
Jason Prince has joined St. Martin’s as vp, sales & marketing operations, Publishing Trends reports. He had been publisher at Sterling until early 2012.
Natalie Kimber has joined The Rights Factory as an associate agent, based in New York City. She brings her list from her self-started Sun Rae Agency.