Penguin Young Readers Group president Don Weisberg has been appointed president of Macmillan Publishers US, reporting to ceo John Sargent, starting at the beginning of January. Weisberg was at Penguin Children’s since 2008, and will depart at the end of November. In his new role Weisberg will manage Macmillan’s US trade publishing houses, the audio and podcast businesses, and the trade sales organization.
Sargent said in the announcement: “Macmillan Publishers has grown significantly over the past years, and the publishing business continues to increase in complexity. Our business in the United States has expanded greatly even as we have become more integrated globally. As my role has changed, it is clear that the US business needs a dedicated senior executive to lead our publishing efforts. I am delighted to welcome Don Weisberg to Macmillan. Don has a remarkable track record of success across many aspects of the publishing business, and his unique combination of skills and management style are a perfect fit for our organization. Don is smart and experienced. He has proven to be great leader with a true passion for books and the book business. He will bring tremendous focus and energy to our publishing, to the great benefit of our company and our authors.”
Weisberg added: “As difficult as it will be to leave my team and authors at Penguin Young Readers, I am greatly looking forward to working with the group at Macmillan that I have always admired from afar. The culture that John and Stefan have created there, and the creativity, innovation, and talent they foster, makes this an exceptionally exciting new beginning for me.”
Succeeding Weisberg as president of Penguin Young Readers is Jen Loja, who moves up from svp, associate publisher on December 1. Loja will join the Penguin Random House North America board, and also will become a member of the global executive committee.
Penguin Random House ceo Markus Dohle said in the company memo about the changes: “As Don demonstrates daily at Penguin Young Readers, he is one of the most versatile and accomplished executives in our company, and I wish I could work with him forever. But he has a chance to oversee all the adult as well as children’s publishing and sales operations of a major US trade publisher. It is too great an opportunity to pass up, and I respect and support his wish to accept it.”
Unlike the UK, where Penguin Random House merged it’s children’s lines into a single division, Dohle writes in his memo, “Penguin Random House is the only trade publisher with two flourishing, autonomous children’s publishing divisions—and we intend to maintain and build upon their respective publishing and commercial excellence as they continue to operate independently.”
Of Loja’s promotion, Dohle noted it as “a logical evolution and expansion of her current responsibilities, and a recognition of the crucial role she has played side-by-side with Don as his deputy in the transformation of Penguin Young Readers into one of children’s publishing’s great powerhouses….Working with Jen as President will be as rewarding as it will be joyful for me, our authors and illustrators, and our Penguin Young Readers colleagues. I am confident that she will lead her division to ever-greater publishing achievement, and I look forward to collaborating with her on the overall development of Penguin Random House as a global company through her participation on our North American Board and GEC. Please join me in congratulating her.”