HarperCollins Australia and New Zealand has announced CEO Michael Moynahan will retire from the company at the end of this month.
The publisher said in a statement that James Kellow, currently commercial director, has been appointed as the new chief executive and will begin in the role on 1 June, following Moynahan's departure. Moynahan plans to return to New Zealand in retirement but HarperCollins said that he will continue in his role as a board director for HarperCollins India until the end of the year.
A spokesperson for HarperCollins told Bookseller+Publisher that an announcement regarding the appointment of a new commercial director will be made in coming weeks.
Moynahan told Bookseller+Publisher that his departure from HarperCollins is a 'genuine retirement' and that he does not plan to stay involved in publishing once he has finished in his role with HarperCollins India at the end of the year. Moynahan said that he is looking forward to moving back to New Zealand to be closer to his family.
Reflecting on his time with the company, Moynahan said that recent growth in the publisher's market share is something that he is 'particularly pleased and proud of'. Moynahan described moving the HaperCollins Australia offices to the Sydney CBD as 'a big plus for the company' and said that the ongoing 'strength' of HarperCollins' list of Australian titles is also a highlight of his time with the publisher. He said he has also been impressed with the 'amount of change' the company has undertaken to position itself in a changing marketplace. Looking forward, Moynahan said that the challenge for HarperCollins will be to 'continue to find the opportunities in an increasingly complex environment while not losing sight of what we do, which is to discover great writing'.
HarperCollins UK and international CEO Victoria Barnsley said in the publisher's statement that ‘it is with great regret that we see Michael depart from HarperCollins’. ‘His huge energy and experience during four years at the helm have helped move the business to a different level,’ said Barnsley. ‘In addition, in his other capacity as a board director of HarperCollins India, Michael’s knowledge of the Indian publishing market has been invaluable and I welcome his decision to remain on the India board until the end of this year. I am sure I speak on behalf of all the team, both Michael’s direct reports and those of us who work with him in HarperCollins’ offices around the world, when I say that he will be greatly missed by all of us.’
Moynahan said that HarperCollins Australia and New Zealand ‘is a truly great company which I have been very proud to lead’. ‘The commitment this company has to its authors, its customers and its people, is second to none,’ he said. ‘My decision to leave has been a personal one but I leave knowing that this is a truly first-class team. I have greatly enjoyed my time at HarperCollins, in most part because of the people … I want to thank James, Shona, Christine, Malcolm, Tony and the rest of the senior team for their tremendous support over the last few years and in particular wish James the very best in his new role.’
Kellow said that he ‘couldn’t be more positive’ about the company’s future. ‘Michael has been an inspirational leader over the past four years and has transformed the company,’ said Kellow. ‘We are now brilliantly placed to go on and achieve so much for our authors, our readers and our people. I’m very much looking forward to building on Michael’s contribution and leading this fantastic team to great success.’
As previously reported by Bookseller+Publisher, Moynahan was appointed CEO of HarperCollins Australia and New Zealand in 2008, replacing Robert Gorman who joined Allen & Unwin. Moynahan was previously managing director for Random House India and chairman of Random House New Zealand. Moynahan started his career in publishing at HarperCollins New Zealand in 1988 before moving to Random House.
Kellow was appointed to the role of commercial director at HarperCollins Australia and New Zealand in May 2011, after previously holding the role of sales director. Prior to joining HarperCollins in 2008, Kellow held senior sales and marketing positions in the UK with Penguin, Simon & Schuster and Fourth Estate.