Mary Ann Naples will join Disney Book Group as vp, publisher on March 14, reporting to Jeanne Mosure. Previously Naples was svp, publisher at Rodale Books & Rodale Wellness. Mosure said in the announcement: “As a self-made entrepreneur and a Disney veteran, Mary Ann brings the right leadership capabilities to support the amazing team and talent we have, while implementing new strategic initiatives in the future.” Naples added: “I am thrilled to join the Disney Book Group with its spectacular track record of success, its world-class brands, franchises, authors and illustrators, and its amazing team. Disney has always been at the forefront of innovation and creativity, and I can’t wait to build on the great work already done in the book group.”
Gail Gonzales has been promoted to vp, publisher at Rodale Books following Naples’ departure, reporting to Maria Rodale, who said in the announcement: “I am so grateful to Mary Ann for leading Rodale Books the past three years with integrity, creativity and a passion for our mission. Gail is perfectly poised to lead our talented team and continue to drive our business forward with her outstanding business acumen, bold approach and enthusiasm for our brands.”
Amazon’s senior vice president of Kindle content Russ Grandinetti will take over as head of the company’s international consumer business later this year — for the next two years — as Diego Piacentini takes a leave, beginning in August, to run the Italian prime minister’s digital technology office. An Amazon spokesperson says that Kindle content will continue to report Grandinetti. Also, Corning ceo Wendell Weeks is joining Amazon’s board of directors. With addition of Mr. Weeks, Amazon will have 11 directors.
In other Amazon news, the company has purchased a 26 percent stake in India’s book publisher and distributor Westland, reportedly with a right to acquire the rest of the company at a later date. The unit is owned by Trent Ltd., which is part of the Tata Group.
Jade Roth has been promoted to chief executive officer at Flat World Education, which she joined last November (as svp, strategy & content.) Roth succeeds Christopher Etesse, who will continue to serve as an advisor to Flat World as needed. Roth was previously vp, books, digital strategy chief product officer at Barnes & Noble College.
At Harper Children’s, Nellie Kurtzman has been promoted to vp, marketing, overseeing the division’s marketing, online, and ad/promo departments. In addition, Cindy Hamilton moves up to senior director of publicity.
At Random House, Derrill Hagood has been promoted to assistant editor.
Diana Blough has been appointed director, category marketing at Random House Children’s Books. Previously she was an imprint sales director at Penguin Random House Publisher Services.
Jessica Woollard has joined David Higham Associates as an agent. She was primary agent at the Marsh Agency.
Mike Conner has joined Bluebottlebiz as head of sales, US and Canada, while Mike Simmons has been named head of business development, US and Canada. Both Conner and Simmons co-founded Catalyst Sale.
The ABA has nominated four candidates for the organization’s board. Kris Kleindienst of Left Bank Books in St. Louis, Missouri and Chris Morrow of Northshire Bookstore are standing for election for the first time. Annie Philbrick of Bank Square Books in Mystic, Connecticut, and Savoy Bookshop in Westerly, Rhode Island and Robert Sindelar of Third Place Books in Seattle, Washington would serve their second terms.