By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson
Pietsch: ‘Our Unique Product Mix’Announced overnight, the Hachette Book Group‘s news about new leadership in sales rises to Publishing Perspectives‘ criteria for coverage in the area of personnel changes because of the level of position involved and the likelihood that the role in question may be material to our readership of world publishing executives, rights directors, international rights literary agents, and scouts.
Announced by the Hachette group’s CEO Michael Pietsch, Alison Lazarus’ retirement from the company as executive vice-president and director of sales has occasioned the appointment of Lauren Monaco to the role. She moves to Hachette next month from her position as senior vice president with the Penguin and Knopf Doubleday Publishing groups.
In his announcement, Pietsch says, “It’s difficult to fathom how much Alison Lazarus has achieved in just five years at Hachette Book Group. She has driven improvements that have made our sales organization the strongest it’s ever been, making the close partnership between sales and publishing that is central to Hachette Book Group ever more dynamic.
“She expanded our collaboration with digital, chain, and independent booksellers, capitalized on our unique product mix through close work with mass merchants and special and gift accounts, and constantly improved the real-time reporting available through our analytics group. She expanded our digital and audio selling teams, took on oversight of our subsidiary rights group, created the author brands team, and welcomed Workman’s sales force into HBG’s.
“Alison has been a bold and substantial contributor to our executive management board’s important discussions over the past five years. I’ve enjoyed working with her enormously and will miss her deeply, as I know all our colleagues and partners will. I trust that she’ll enjoy the adventures, family time, and relaxation ahead.”
And in a parting comment, Lazarus says, “I’ve been so fortunate in my career in publishing—in finding an industry that I love.
“Over my more-than 40 years, I’ve seen seismic changes; met so many wonderful booksellers and authors; been involved with incredible, iconic books; and worked with amazing, intelligent, committed, and creative colleagues. Every day was interesting and challenging, and I was always learning something new.
“My last five years at Hachette have been a perfect finale, and I’ve been privileged to be part of the company and to have worked with the Hachette team who I have so much admiration and respect for. Among many things, I’m looking forward to having more time to travel, spending more time with my family, pursuing hobbies and volunteer work, and, of course, getting to my Times Book Review list.”
Monaco, with at least 25 years of experience in sales, has worked with physical and digital retailers while at Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster.
Among her roles with PRH, she was vice-president for digital business and e-commerce development, and at S&S, she was vice-president for sales in national accounts.
Pietsch is quoted saying that Monaco “is a warm, creative, experienced, and highly motivated sales executive whose capabilities line up perfectly with Hachette’s strategic goals and the marketplace we encounter today. I’m excited to see how she’ll bring our sales and publishing teams even closer together as we grow our sales, improve our operations, and broaden our authors’ reach in this time of rapid change.
“I know our enormously talented sales team will continue to thrive under Lauren’s leadership. She’ll start at Hachette Book Group on October 2, will join the executive management board, and will report to me.
“I’m grateful to Alison for agreeing to stay on through October to work closely with Lauren and the sales team and ensure a full transfer of knowledge.”
In a comment for this announcement, Monaco says that she’s “excited to continue Alison’s path to strengthen our partnerships and drive success at Hachette with this talented and motivated sales team.
“I look forward to leveraging my publishing experience, building on this strong foundation, capitalizing on new opportunities, and charting a path of sustained success.”
For readers unfamiliar with our policy on personnel changes in the publishing industry, because our work touches on so many world book markets and their publishing companies, we receive far more personnel-change notices than we can handle without becoming Personnel Perspectives. We evaluate requests for such coverage on a case-by-case basis and weigh the relative potential reach into the international book publishing business of a given leadership assignment and its pertinence to our coverage of trends and issues in the multinational marketplace.