Nigel Portwood. CEO Oxford University Press.
Chairman: Adrian Brady and Neill Denny.
Dan Sabbah – National News Editor at The Guardian
Jerry Wright – CEO Audit Bureau of Circulations (all aspect of publishing except books)
Phil Smith - Head of content solutions at Haymarket (B2B and online works)
John Rudaizky– a board director at WPP (the view of those who spend money in publishing)
Publishing is an extensive industry, covering books, newspapers, magazines and now the ever-expanding online sector. For the purposes of this list, we have focused purely on the most influential and successful people in the book publishing sector: the founders, chief executives and publishers who are having the biggest impact on this often inconstant industry.
Adrian Brady is chief executive of Eulogy!, the award-winning PR company. Raised in Sligo and educated at Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin, Brady moved to London in 1994. Eulogy! has now expanded to 48 employees and is currently Agency of the Year and has been listed in PR Week as a Top 20 Independent Agency and one of the UK’s best places to work. Eulogy! India launched in 2010. Current Eulogy! clients include: Royal Mail, SAB Miller, Triumph and Post Office.
Neill Denny was editor-in-chief of The Bookseller from 2004 to 2012. He is currently chief operating officer of Read Petite, a short story subscription website he is setting up with Martyn Daniels, Peter Cox and Tim Waterstone.
Nigel Newton. Founder and chief executive Bloomsbury.
Nigel Newton is the co-founder and chief executive of Bloomsbury publishing, the house credited with publishing highly acclaimed authors such as Margaret Atwood, Joanna Trollope and Khaled Hosseini. Newton was influential in signing the then-unknown author J K Rowling, after his eight year old daughter read a chapter and demanded more. The signing of Rowling boosted the Bloomsbury’s placement on the international stage with the company selling over 360 million books across the world. Post-Potter and under Newton’s guidance, Bloomsbury has branched out to academic publishing, adding various acquisitions to its impressive portfolio. With establishments in Germany and the US, Bloomsbury now has a base in the three largest book markets in the world.
Stephen Page. Chief executive Faber & Faber.
Stephen Page says reading great books was his inspiration for becoming a publisher. “I found literature so nourishing and made such sense of my own life that I wanted to spend my time putting good books into other people's hands”. He is now the chief executive of Faber & Faber, the independent publisher of poetry, children’s books and drama. With his vast knowledge of digital modernisation in trade publishing, Page’s commercial acumen and insight are recognised and appreciated across the literary world. Of the challenge of maintaining commercial success in the publishing world, he says “doing that every year at Faber, while retaining our clear taste and standards, is and will always be the challenge. To have done so for the past twelve years is in my view my greatest professional achievement.”
Ursula Mackenzie. CEO Little, Brown Book Group.
After graduating from Nottingham University with a PhD, Ursula Mackenzie, now the CEO of the Little, Brown Book Group, began her career as a lecturer in English and American literature at the University of Hong Kong before deciding to pursue a career in publishing. She joined Little, Brown Book Group as a publisher in 2000, and oversaw a huge improvement in the publishing house’s performance, leading them to receive the accolade of Publisher of the Year in 2004. She was soon appointed chief executive, and has continued to lead the company’s success ever since. She has also been chair of the Trade Publishers’ Council since 2007, and was president of the Publishers Association in 2012.
John Fallon. CEO Pearson Education.
Having led Pearson Education’s international education division, where he guided the division to become the fastest growing part of the company’s portfolio, in 2012 John Fallon was appointed to the role of CEO of the company. Pearson Education is the world’s leading education company and in his premier role Fallon is committed to the idea that by 2015, 70% of the company’s sales will come from digital and services. In a time when books are being replaced by tablets and online resources, Fallon sees technology as key to transforming education publishing and is willing to invest to capitalise on this.
Ian Chapman. Managing director and CEO Simon & Schuster UK.
Ian Chapman’s first job in the book industry was as an assistant on the shop floor of W H Smith in Paris. After graduating from the Durham University he progressed through a number of editorial roles at publishing companies in New York and London before joining Simon & Schuster, which is recognised as one of the four largest English language publishers in the world, in 2000. Chapman is credited with leading the publishing house through a lengthy era of financial growth and editorial development. Over time, he has gradually added an increasing number of international responsibilities to his remit and in 2013 Chapman was promoted to the position of managing director and chief executive of Simon & Schuster UK.
Charlie Redmayne. Chief executive Harper Collins.
Charlie Redmayne attended Eton College with Prime Minister David Cameron, who he still counts as one of his friends. In the 1980s, Charlie Redmayne spent four years with the Irish Guards before embarking on his impressive career in publishing. In 2008, Redmayne joined Harper Collins as their digital director before swiftly being poached by J.K Rowling to launch and run the Harry Potter website, Pottermore. But he returned to Harper Collins last year as chief executive, and is now in charge of one of the world’s foremost English language publishers, which counts esteemed authors such as Michael Morpurgo and Hilary Mantel on its list.
Anthony Forbes Watson, Managing director Macmillan.
In 2008 Anthony Forbes Watson became the managing director of Pan Macmillan, one of the leading general book publishers in the UK. Operating in over 70 countries, Macmillan is one of the largest and most well-known publishers in the world. Their impressive list of authors includes such names as Jeffrey Archer and Amanda Hocking. Forbes Watson spent a number of years at Penguin before embarking on his career with Macmillan and has gained vast experience of the publishing world.
Larry Finlay. Managing director Transworld.
Transworld is one of the UK’s leading fiction and non-fiction publishing companies, with authors including Bill Bryson, Terry Pratchett, Dan Brown and Sophie Kinsella on the books of its many imprints. Larry Finlay joined the company in 1983 as a copywriter, and soon rose through the ranks to the position of marketing director six years later. After moving from marketing to editorial he worked as a publisher, before being made managing director in 2001. In 2008 Finlay oversaw the launch of a new imprint, Transworld Ireland.
Dan Franklin. Publisher Vintage.
Dan Franklin, the publisher at Vintage Publishing, is the driving force behind some of the world’s most applauded literary authors, such as Ian McEwan, Salman Rushdie, Tom Wolfe and Martin Amis. Beginning his illustrious publishing career with Peter Owen in 1970, Franklin worked for the likes of Harper Collins, Harvill Press, Secker & Warburg and William Heinemann before becoming the publisher at Jonathan Cape, part of the CCV group, in 1993. In 2011, CCV became Vintage Publishing. Franklin has one of the most prestigious careers in the industry.
Lennie Goodings. Publisher Virago Press.
Lennie Goodings was born in Ontario, Canada, the eldest of five children. Her mother was a nurse and her father a civil engineer. She was always destined for a career in publishing, having spotted her first typo when she was five years old. Her interest in the industry developed while working in a bookshop after graduating from university. Now the publisher of Virago Press, Goodings heads the company at the forefront of women’s literature, with major authors including Maya Angelou, Margaret Atwood, Kate Mosse and Naomi Wolf on their books.
Peter Usborne, MBE. Founder and managing director Usborne Publishing.
Peter Usborne is the founder and managing director of Usborne Publishing. Since the company’s inception in 1973, Usborne has pioneered a completely new generation of approachable, colourful and friendly non-fiction books. Usborne Publishing won Children’s Publisher of the Year 2012-2013 in recognition of its powerful grasp on the industry with their books published in over 100 languages around the world. With his own children, Usborne has also established The Usborne Foundation, which is aimed at developing and improving early literacy levels in children. Peter Usborne was awarded an MBE in 2011 in recognition of his services to publishing.
Nick Pearson. Publishing director Fourth Estate.
Nick Pearson is the publishing director at Fourth Estate. In 2013, the company was responsible for publishing the Costa Book of the Year, the winner of the Man Booker prize, two further Booker longlist titles, the most acclaimed cookery title of the year, the Royal Society Science Book of the Year, a Guardian First Book Award shortlist and a Waterstones Eleven debut. Pearson is also credited with bestsellers stretching from Jonathan Franzen to Hilary Mantel.
Anthony Cheetham. Founder of Orion, Century and Head of Zeus.
In 2012, the high-profile publisher Anthony Cheetham founded the independent publishing house, Head of Zeus, where he is now chairman. Cheetham has a successful history in the publishing industry having founded Orion and Century and acting as chairman and chief executive of Random house from 1989 to 1991. Over the last 30 years, he has established and sold Century to Random House for £64 million and in 1998 he sold Orion for a similarly sizeable sum. In 2005 Cheetham co-founded Quercus with Mark Smith, building a new imprint and creating a £12 million business.
Dame Gail Rebuck, DBE. Chair Penguin Random House.
Dame Gail Rebuck is the chair of Penguin Random House, Britain’s largest publisher. Cited as one of the most well respected figures in British publishing, Rebuck was born in London where she attended the Lycée Français de Londres and read intellectual history at the University of Sussex. In 1991 Gail was appointed chair and chief executive of Random House UK. Penguin Random House is the world’s first truly global trade book publishing company. The company publishes more than 15,000 new titles every year, with its prestigious publishing list including more than 70 Nobel Prize Laureates. In 1998 Rebuck co-launched the World Book Day charity and she chairs the Quick Reads Committee, the UK adult literacy initiative.
Tom Weldon. CEO Penguin Random House.
In 2013, Tom Weldon became the first CEO of Penguin Random House. Brought up in London, Weldon read history at Oxford before gaining a graduate trainee role with Macmillan. Weldon transferred to Penguin in 1997, becoming managing director of the Penguin General Division. In 2009 he was made deputy CEO of Penguin UK and was appointed to the CEO position in January 2011. Weldon is credited with leading Penguin to the most successful three years in its financial history thanks to his innovative development of the Penguin brand.
Nigel Portwood. CEO Oxford University Press.
Nigel Portwood assumed the position as chief executive of Oxford University Press in 2009. Portwood read manufacturing engineering at Cambridge University and also has an MBA from INSEAD. Portwood boasts over a decade of experience within the world of publishing; formerly the executive vice-president of global operations of the Penguin Group, Portwood’s vision, talent and experience played an integral role in his selection for the position. Oxford University Press is the world’s largest university press with the widest global presence in its publication of numerous revolutionary authors.
The Hon Tim Hely-Hutchinson. CEO Hachette UK.
Tim Hely-Hutchinson is the CEO of Hachette UK. Earning his first taste of publishing when he edited the Oxford student magazine Isis, in 1986 Hely-Hutchinson founded Headline Book Publishing. Headline acquired Hodder & Stoughton in 1993, which formed Hodder Headline plc. In 2004 the publishing house was acquired by Hachette Livre and Hely-Hutchinson became group chief executive of the group. Hachette has acquired big names such as Kate Mosse and JK Rowling and also published Miranda Hart’s bestselling book, Is It Just Me?.
Sigrid Rausing. Publisher and owner Granta.
Sigrid Rausing is the publisher and owner of Granta magazine and Granta Books, one of the most prestigious literary publishers in the country. Rausing lived on a farm in Estonia whilst working towards her PhD is social anthropology at University College London. Her book about the experience was published in 2004. In 2005, she co-founded Portobello books with her husband, buying Granta Publications from the New York publisher Rea Hederman that same year. In 2013, Granta author Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries won The Man Booker Prize, bringing the publisher even greater prestige.
David Shelley. Group publisher Little, Brown.
As the group publisher at Little, Brown, David Shelley overseas the editorial and design departments to maximise the publishing house’s potential. Shelley also publishes various authors himself, including such sought after names as J K Rowling, Mitch Alborn and Val McDermid. Shelley’s career in publishing began working at Allison & Busby as an editorial assistant. The following year he started commissioning, and became the company’s publishing director in 2000. In 2005, Shelley became aware of the job at Little, Brown so left the company of five to work at the large Little, Brown.
Paul Baggaley. Publisher Picador.
Picador publisher Paul Baggaley is the man behind of some of the best young literary talent in the UK, such as Hannah Kent, Lottie Moggach and Richard House. Having graduated from Merton College, Cambridge, Baggaley gained vast experience of the publishing world with experience at Harper Collins, Random House and the Harvard Press. Picador is an imprint of Pan Macmillan and includes Salman Rushdie, Jonathan Frazen and Angela Carter amongst its authors.