Bloomsbury USA announced this afternoon that Richard Charkin, executive director of its UK-based parent company, will take over for recently departed president Karen Rinaldi, while Colin Dickerman, Ms. Rinaldi’s old No. 2, will serve as publisher of the house’s adult trade operation.
The announcement comes just over a week after Ms. Rinaldi announced that she was leaving Bloomsbury for a senior position at wellness/fitness publisher Rodale Books. Ms. Rinaldi’s departure—which came on the heels of a very rough year for Bloomsbury USA that saw cutbacks in staff and the stunning firing of publishing director Annik LaFarge—shocked the New York publishing community, as many had thought of her as the heart and soul of Bloomsbury’s U.S. operation.
Literary agents and editors at other publishing houses who spoke to The Observer on background last week said that Bloomsbury had hit rough water after the once-in-a-lifetime Harry Potter franchise, which had made the UK company enough money to allow for their 1998 expansion into the U.S., wound down.