Longtime Barnes & Noble svp, corporate communications Mary Ellen Keating is leaving the company after 21 years “now that the company has found a new owner.” She writes in a farewell letter to booksellers, “I want to wish our new owners, Elliott Advisors, the best of success in continuing our quest, and enhancing our prospects for future growth.” Keating is “rooting for James Daunt, our new leader. He brings much experience and considerable success to his new position, and he is committed to the future of this great company.”
Looking back, she observes, “Being able to participate in a culture as passionate as ours, which made us the best in all the world of bookselling, has been an experience I will never forget. Along the way, I have been fortunate to work with thousands of great authors and great publishers, large and small alike. Their mission and ours was always perfectly aligned. I also got to work with our extraordinary booksellers in the field, who have always been the backbone of our company. Also, with our dedicated Home Office professionals and leadership team who were second to none. Finally, I was able to work alongside Len Riggio, our brilliant, thoughtful innovator and leader.”
AWP (Association of Writers and Writing Programs) executive director Chloe Schwenke was fired last week, after serving for less than six months. Cynthia Sherman and Diane Zinna are acting as interim managing co-directors. Schwenke alleges, via a letter her attorney provided to PW, that “her termination is the result of unlawful discrimination. Dr. Schwenke believes that [board member Rob] Trott could not tolerate having a transgender woman lead AWP. This intolerance would explain why he declined to meet her—until he could instigate a campaign among board members to fire her.”
Winner of three Special Edgar Awards and author of works including 30 Kirk McGarvey novels, David Hagberg, 76, has died. His most recent McGarvey novel, FIRST KILL, was published in May 2019.