David Young to retire

David Young to retire

Latest News

18 May 2015

Tim Hely Hutchinson, CEO of Hachette UK, today announces that David Young will stand down from his roles as CEO of the Orion Publishing Group and Deputy CEO of Hachette UK and retire from publishing at the end of 2015. Also announced are promotions and new appointments at Orion and Little, Brown.

Tim Hely Hutchinson today announces that David Young will stand down from his roles as CEO of the Orion Publishing Group and Deputy CEO of Hachette UK and retire from publishing at the end of 2015.

David Young started his career in publishing in the UK at Thorsons in 1970. He was Managing Director of HarperCollins Trade Division UK and Chief Executive of Time Warner Book Group UK before moving to New York to become CEO of Hachette Book Group. In 2013 he moved back to the UK to become CEO of Orion Publishing Group and Deputy CEO of Hachette UK.

Arnaud Nourry, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Hachette Livre said:

“For me, one of the great joys of Hachette's acquisition of the Time Warner Book Group was getting to know David. From the very beginning of our working relationship, David was a pleasure to work with.   Under his leadership, the newly-created Hachette Book Group quickly grew to be one of the most successful and admired publishing houses in the US, discovering great talent and publishing many wonderful and original books and authors to global success.  

“Back in London, David has been a brilliant CEO of Orion, a generous supporter of all his colleagues on the board of Hachette UK and an inspiring Chair of Hachette Livre’s Chief Operating Officers’ Council. I want to thank him most warmly for his friendship and support and for his enormous contribution to Hachette Livre worldwide over the last 10 years. I know Hachette Livre will miss David, but, on a personal level, I also know he will remain a close friend.”

Tim Hely Hutchinson said:

“David and I have had a wonderfully productive and enjoyable publishing partnership which began the moment Hachette Livre acquired Time Warner Book Group in 2006, thrived during David’s time as CEO of Hachette Book Group and continued happily and successfully when he returned to the UK in 2013 to take over the reins at Orion.

“When David returned to London, he made it clear that we would only have him for a short time. In that time, Orion has gone from strength to strength under his leadership. He re-positioned and re-purposed the company without ever losing sight of its core values: discovering new talent, building careers and publishing bestsellers with renewed passion and panache. In addition to his leadership of Orion, David’s contribution to Hachette UK has been enormous. He has always been a force for good in the company and, most recently, we have him to thank for seeing and recommending our wonderful new offices at Carmelite House.

“Although David’s retirement is still a long way off, I shall be sad to lose the day-to-day companionship and wise counsel of my colleague and friend, but my own feelings of sadness are tempered by the knowledge that David will be leaving Orion at the top its game - with its talented publishing teams publishing with more flair, commitment and ingenuity than ever.”

David Young said:

“I consider myself a lucky man to have spent 45 years in this wonderful business of ours. I've been able to play a part in some truly exciting deals, publications and events as well as some profound changes across that time, and to work alongside some great, great people. When Time Warner Book Group was put on sale two days after I relocated to New York City to run it, I thought that luck might be out.  I couldn't possibly have guessed then that its sale to Hachette Livre would lead to what has undoubtedly been the very best, most challenging and most satisfying 10 of those 45 years.  Working with Arnaud and Tim has been a privilege, and a pleasure. My colleagues at Orion are a brilliant group of people, and I wish them, as well as my colleagues across all the Hachette Livre companies, the best of good fortune in the years ahead.  I shall miss you all.”

Tim Hely Hutchinson, CEO of the Hachette UK group, announces promotions and new appointments within Orion Publishing Group and Little, Brown Book Group


Further to the announcement made earlier this month concerning Malcolm Edwards’s plan to step down from his full-time role at Orion and the announcement today of DAVID YOUNG’s plan to retire from publishing at the end of this year, Tim Hely Hutchinson is pleased to announce the following promotions and new appointments:

DAVID SHELLEY is appointed CEO of the Orion Publishing Group from 1st January 2016. This is in addition to his role as CEO of Little, Brown Book Group. For both companies, Sales, Operations and Finance will all report to David.

KATIE ESPINER, currently Publisher of The Borough Press and HarperFiction (including HarperVoyager) is appointed Managing Director of the Orion Publishing Group, reporting to David Shelley, with effect from a date to be confirmed towards the end of the year.

JON WOOD, currently Deputy Group Publisher and Managing Director of Fiction for Orion, will take over from Malcolm Edwards as Publisher of the Orion Publishing Group. Jon will assume his new role in January 2016, reporting to Katie Espiner.  

We have asked LISA MILTON to remain in her present role as Managing Director of Orion General until Katie Espiner joins us and to act for a time after that as a consultant to the company.

As previously announced, MALCOLM EDWARDS is stepping down from his roles as Deputy CEO and Publisher of Orion at the end of this year. Malcolm becomes Chair of Gollancz and Consultant Publisher at Orion on 1st January 2016.

Tim Hely Hutchinson said:

“I am absolutely delighted that three of the outstanding publishers of their generation, David Shelley, Katie Espiner and Jon Wood, will lead Orion.

“David Shelley is the perfect successor to David Young. They share much more than just a name; David Shelley has the flair, vision and  talent needed to lead Orion and Katie Espiner’s appointment is his first stroke of brilliance.  Katie is an exceptional publisher, generally acknowledged, along with David, to be one of the standout talents in our industry. I am also delighted that Jon Wood who, with Malcolm Edwards and the immensely talented Orion editorial team, has been responsible for so many of Orion’s successes, is being promoted to be Publisher.

“Lisa Milton has been a tremendous ambassador for Orion, standing behind many of the company’s achievements of the past 12 years. I am enormously grateful to her for the significant role she has played in the development of the company and for all her passionate enthusiasm and peerless management.  We will miss her when she eventually steps down from her full-time role, but we have asked her to continue helping us as a consultant.”

David Shelley said:

“I am hugely excited to have the chance to work with Orion, a company I have admired since I first started in publishing. Fantastic authors, talented publishers and editors, innovative covers, marketing and publicity - it is a company that shines in so many areas. Like many people, I have also admired the work of Katie Espiner for many years and am thrilled to be working with her - and with the brilliant Jon Wood and Malcolm Edwards and their colleagues – on the next phase of Orion’s growth and development as a leader in fiction publishing and an outstanding publisher of non-fiction in its chosen fields.”

Katie Espiner said:

“I am delighted to be joining the dynamic team and brilliant writers at Orion, whom I have long admired. I have been so fortunate to work at HarperCollins and am extremely proud of The Borough Press and of all the authors I have had the privilege to publish over the years, but the opportunity offered to me by Tim and David was simply too great to pass up. Hachette has amazing momentum at the moment and I am thrilled to be able to play a role in shaping its future.”

Jon Wood said:

“This is a very exciting time for the Orion Publishing Group, as we transition to both a new home and a new management set-up. I respect David and Katie immensely and feel that they will both bring huge energy and talent to driving Orion forward into the future. I am very excited to be part of that.

“It's also a great honour to take over from Malcolm. He has been a superb Publisher for Orion over his years here and a great mentor, both to me personally and to many in the wider company.”


CHARLIE KING, currently Group Marketing, Publicity and Creative Director of Little, Brown is appointed Managing Director of Little, Brown reporting to David Shelley, effective from January 1st, 2016.

As previously announced, URSULA MACKENZIE becomes Chair of Little, Brown Book Group when David Shelley becomes CEO on 1st July 2015.

Tim Hely Hutchinson said:

“David Shelley and I have long planned to appoint a Managing Director to work alongside him and, in Charlie King, we have the ideal person.  Charlie has been fundamental to the success of Little, Brown’s publishing - planning and delivering with his colleagues, outstanding campaigns and marketing strategies which have helped create bestsellers, establish brands and build writing careers.  Charlie will work closely with the superb publishing teams at Little, Brown to continue – and build on - their highly successful publishing plans.”

David Shelley said:

“Charlie has the passion, energy and vision necessary to continue successfully Little, Brown's record of innovative, diverse publishing. I am so much looking forward to working with him in his new role - and with the L,B publishing board - to nurture and develop the careers of our authors.”

Charlie King said:

“I am thrilled by the prospect of leading Little, Brown, and very proud and grateful to be given the opportunity. Little, Brown is a fantastic company with a fine heritage and an exciting future. I am very much looking forward to working with my colleagues in a new capacity and continuing, as ever, to do the very best for our wonderful authors.”