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Katie Espiner appointed CEO of Hodder & Stoughton and Orion

Hachette UK has appointed Katie Espiner to a new role as CEO of Hodder & Stoughton and Orion Publishing Group, while Anna Valentine has been promoted to Managing Director of Orion Publishing Group. Both will start their new roles on 1st January 2022.

David Shelley, CEO of Hachette UK, said: “‘Katie has done the most amazing job at Orion: taking the company to new heights in her six years as MD, topped off by this year’s Publisher of the Year and Imprint of the Year wins at the Nibbies, and record sales. Orion authors she has worked closely with include Ian Rankin, Candice Carty-Williams, Michael Connelly, The Hairy Bikers, Adam Rutherford, Simon Sebag Montefiore, Cathy Bramley, Veronica Henry, Ben Aaronovitch and Adam Kay.

“Hodder & Stoughton is one of the largest and most illustrious companies within the Hachette stable, and it has both an incredible heritage and some of the best-loved authors in the world. It was also shortlisted for the Publisher of the Year Nibbie after a fantastic 2020, which has been followed by an equally dazzling 2021. I have no doubt that Katie will bring her flair, dynamism, vision and – most of all – her passion for working with talented authors to the company. I am very excited to see what she, Managing Director Carolyn Mays and the brilliant Hodder team achieve together in the years to come.

“Anna Valentine is one of the fastest-rising and most exciting publishers in the industry. She has published some of the bestselling non-fiction titles of the past decade, including books by Noel ‘The Supervet’ Fitzpatrick, Alan Partridge, Frankie Boyle, Justin Bieber and DanTDM. She set up Trapeze, which has twice been shortlisted for the Nibbie for Imprint of the Year and has had hits including British Book Award winner Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams and Dear NHS by the bestselling non-fiction author of the decade, Adam Kay. Anna is a terrific publisher and a positive force, and I know she will help take Orion to new heights.”
Katie Espiner said: “I am unbelievably proud of our incredible authors and of everything the amazing teams at Orion have achieved over the last six years. Anna is one of the best people I have ever worked with and I know she will lead Orion magnificently to even greater things. I am incredibly excited to be given the opportunity to work with the hugely talented authors, contributors and teams at Hodder, while also continuing to work alongside my colleagues and our authors at Orion.”

Anna Valentine said: ‘It is an honour and a privilege to be offered to lead Orion, the company where I had my first permanent job in publishing. Katie has built all facets of the business up extremely skilfully, with fantastic authors, talented publishers and editors, innovative covers and creative marketing and publicity. It truly is a company that is firing on all cylinders, as evidenced by being named Publisher of the Year, and one I have long been proud to be a part. I am thrilled to continue working with Katie and my brilliant colleagues on the next phase of Orion’s growth and development and its mission to be a publisher where every story matters.’

Espiner started her career as a sales admin assistant at HarperCollins, moving departments to become an editorial assistant and then editor. She moved to Transworld as commissioning editor, before returning to HarperCollins and setting up her own imprint, The Borough Press. She made the leap from Publisher to Managing Director in 2015 when she joined the Orion Publishing Group. She has led Orion through a period of huge change and success, culminating in winning Publisher of the Year and Imprint of the Year at the 2021 British Book Awards.

After starting as Orion’s inaugural Graduate Trainee in 2006, Valentine re-joined the company in 2014 and since then has led the strategic growth of the commercial non-fiction lists. She has published some of Orion’s biggest non-fiction successes of recent years – including Alan Partridge, Sarah Millican, the Supervet Noel Fitzpatrick, The Ordnance Survey Puzzle Book, Glastonbury 50 and Dear NHS – and in 2016, she founded Trapeze. With the mission to publish books that start conversations and represent those not served by the mainstream, Trapeze has emerged as one of the most vibrant and dynamic imprints in the industry and has twice been nominated for Imprint of the Year at the British Book Awards. In 2019, Valentine was promoted to Executive Publisher, taking over strategic responsibility for the entertainment and lifestyle list Seven Dials, and the health and wellbeing imprint Orion Spring. Since then, the imprints have delivered their best performances in recent history, and in 2020 she spearheaded Orion’s acquisition of the Laurence King Publishing book and gift list and its integration into the business.