John Wiley chairman Peter Booth Wiley announced that he intends to retire from that position as of September 2015, when his term expires, though he will maintain his board seat. Current director and former group president at Pitney Bowes Matthew Kissner has been nominated to take over as chair.
Peter Wiley has held the position since 2002, when he took over from his brother Bradford Wiley II. While this breaks the Wiley family’s tenure at the top, he indicates that is temporary: “Although I am stepping down as Chairman after twelve years, the Wiley family remains committed to its leadership role in governance of the company and to maintaining Wiley’s legacy as an independent, competitively ambitious enterprise with a strong board, experienced management, and a global community of creative colleagues. The Family’s role in the firm, I believe, has historically been beneficial to all Wiley shareholders.” He noted, “I am also pleased that my sons Jesse and Nate, representing the seventh generation of Wileys to work in the business, are both engaged Wiley employees and that Jesse will continue to serve on the board,” which he joined in 2012.
At William B. Eerdmans Publishing, Bill Eerdmans will step away from his role as president and publisher of the company after more than 51 years and become chairman of the board, effective immediately. Succeeding him as president and publisher is Anita Eerdmans, previously vp, marketing and of Eerdmans Books for Young Readers and only the third chief executive in the company’s history. “I’m ever grateful for the lot that has fallen to me, that of following my father in steering this company to the prominence it has enjoyed at the hands of its authors, fellow workers, and the world near and far of booksellers and publishing colleagues,” Eerdmans said in the announcement. “It’s been exciting and inspiring. I am truly blessed in having as my successor my wife Anita, who has, throughout our nearly forty years of partnership, proven worthy of every confidence to further pursue our broad range of publishing interests.”
A contract to purchase Explore Booksellers in Aspen for $4.6 million was filed with the bankruptcy court. The unidentified buyer is “an individual who resides at least part time in Aspen.” The bookstore’s assets are worth about $200,000; the rest represents the real estate value of the property. As part of the proposed purchase, Pyramid Bistro will have its lease terminated and must vacate by April 30. As much as locals hope the store will be maintained, that appears unlikely.
At Basic Books, TJ Kelleher has been promoted to vp, editorial director, sciences. In addition, Dan Gerstle has been promoted to editor and Leah Stecher moves up to assistant editor.
At FSG, Emily Bell has been promoted to editor, while Christopher Richards has been promoted to associate editor.
Penguin Random House announced an expansion of its #GiveaBook social media campaign after surpassing its initial goal of a donation of 25,000 books to Save the Children within the first three weeks of the campaign’s launch. The company is now pledging to donate up to 10,000 more books for additional posts and tweets containing the #GiveaBook hashtag through December 24.
Separately, on December 17 the NYT noted that the Penguin Hotline (recommending book gifts to readers) had serviced over 2,800 requests. Penguin adult president Madeline McIntosh said, ““So many of us in the industry spend so much time talking about, ‘We should build a recommendation engine, we should use algorithms or technology,’ she said. ‘You read through these requests and realize why this doesn’t really work. You need a human to look at these requests and think through what is the person really asking for. It’s a little bit of personality, a little bit of taste.”
In the UK’s National Book Awards, Jessie Burton‘s The Miniaturist won the public vote as overall book of the year.