Edwards to retire from Hachette in 2013; Richell appointed deputy MD
Hachette Australia has announced that CEO Malcolm Edwards will retire at the end of 2013 after almost 20 years with the company.
The publisher said in a statement that Edwards will be succeeded by Matt Richell, who is currently sales and marketing director for the Hodder, Headline, Octopus and digital divisions of Hachette Australia.
Edwards’ retirement will happen in stages, with Richell appointed deputy managing director, reporting to Edwards, this week. On 1 February 2013, Richell will take over the role of CEO of Hachette Australia, reporting to Hachette UK commercial director Richard Kitson, and will also join the board of Hachette UK. From that time, Edwards will move into a part-time role as non-executive chairman of Hachette Australia, and will continue as the executive chairman of Hachette New Zealand and Alliance Distribution Services (ADS). Edwards will step-down from all of his roles at the end of 2013, at which time Richell will take over as executive chairman of Hachette New Zealand and ADS.
Edwards joined the Hachette group in 1994 in the role of managing director of Hodder Headline Australia. During his time with the group, he established ADS, which was initially a joint venture with Allen & Unwin, and ‘presided over a more than doubling in size of Hachette Australia and New Zealand during 2006-2007’. Edwards has also been involved with various industry boards and committees, and is currently a director of the Australian Publishers Association.
Chairman of Hachette Livre Arnaud Nourry said in the statement that Edwards’ ‘shrewd understanding of our markets, his good humour and his ability to produce excellent results year after year are legendary’. ‘Less widely appreciated is the smart advice he gives behind the scenes on everything from people issues to the digital future,’ said Nourry. ‘He has been and remains a wonderful colleague. It is typical of him that he has found and mentored his own highly promising successor in Matt Richell.’
Edwards said the decision to retire was not easy and he will be to leave the industry. ‘After thirty-seven years in the industry, it is time to stand aside and allow Matt, along with the talented, dynamic and generally younger management teams, to take Hachette forward in both Australia and New Zealand,’ said Edwards. ‘Matt is a natural leader. This, coupled with his deep understanding of the industry, his ability to think strategically and his instinct for publishing, means that he will be a terrific CEO.’
Edwards thanked his colleagues in Australia and New Zealand and said ‘it has been a delight to know and to lead them’. ‘I will leave the industry at the end of 2013 with many happy memories,’ he said.
Richell joined the Hachette group in 2003 as sales and marketing director of John Murray in the UK. He moved to Australia in 2005 with his family and joined Hachette Australia in 2006. He said he is ‘delighted to have the opportunity to lead the talented team at Hachette Australia’ and said he ‘is fortunate to be inheriting the leadership of a company in such good health thanks, in no small part, to Malcolm’s steady hand on the tiller over the last twenty years’.
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