President and publisher of Harper Children’s Susan Katz “has decided to retire after an illustrious career of nearly 30 years with the company,” ceo Brian Murray announced. Katz took over the children’s division in 1996. Murray writes, “She has guided the division through one successful year after another, and has made an enormous contribution to the company’s overall success – whether she’s breathing new life into our timeless classics or launching new brands that engage the next generation of readers…. While I am sad that Susan will not be part of the HarperCollins team going forward, I am thrilled for her to be able to focus on her next adventure!”
Current vp, publisher at Disney Book Group Suzanne Murphy has been hired as Katz’s successor, reporting to Murray, joining Harper on May 20. Katz will stay with the company through the summer “to facilitate a smooth transition.” Murray writes: “Over the last decade Suzanne has worked on some of the biggest properties in children’s literature and created global successes that have shaped the direction of the industry. Her extensive experience will enable her to hit the ground running.”
Katz says in the announcement: “I’ve had the best job in publishing at the best publisher. I’ve worked with an incredibly talented and dedicated staff and a wonderful group of authors and illustrators. HarperCollins has been my home away from home and the people have been part of my family. While I will miss everyone with all my heart, I know that I am leaving the company in great hands and that the children’s division will continue to thrive and grow in this very exhilarating time for the industry.”
In other personnel news, Kathy Huck will join Simon & Schuster’s new North Star Way unit on May 4 as senior editor. Most recently she was executive editor at St. Martin’s.
At Ten Speed Press, Kaitlin Ketchum has been promoted to associate editor.
Ksenia Winnicki is joining Simon & Schuster Children’s as publicist. She was previously a publicist at Macmillan Children’s.