John Sterling Out as Publisher and President of Henry Holt

John Sterling will leave his position as president and publisher of Henry Holt to become an executive vice president at Holt’s parent company Macmillan, it will be announced later today. In his new job, according to a release that will be issued later today, Mr. Sterling will acquire and edit books for Holt and other Macmillan imprints, direct "digital initiatives" such as podcasting, and work on "various strategic and operational projects."

Macmillan CEO John Sargent sent a memo on the change to Macmillan staff this morning, in which he praised Mr. Sterling’s tenure at the helm of the company. "Focusing on his remarkable editorial skills should lead to great benefits for us," Mr. Sargent wrote, "while managing some of our new digital initiatives will allow him to explore new challenges on our behalf."

Mr. Sterling ran Holt for nine years; his position will be filled on an interim basis by Dan Farley, who was president and CEO of Harcourt until recently, when Harcourt was merged with Houghton Mifflin and he left the company. Mr. Farley will take the reins at Holt on February 25th.

Here’s the full press release:




February 7, 2008 – John Sargent, CEO of Macmillan, announced today that John Sterling, president and publisher of Henry Holt and Company, will leave Holt to become executive vice president of Macmillan. Sterling, who has run Holt for nine years, will take on a range of responsibilities for the Macmillan group of publishers. He will become editor at large, acquiring and editing major authors for Holt and the other Macmillan companies; he will direct Quick and Dirty Tips, Macmillan’s podcasting start-up; he will be involved in other digital initiatives across the trade companies; and he will direct various strategic and operational projects. Sterling, who will report to Brian Napack, president of Macmillan, will assume his new role on February 25.

Sargent also announced that Dan Farley, formerly president and CEO of Harcourt Trade Publishers, will serve as interim president and publisher of Holt. Farley, who left Harcourt in the wake of its recent acquisition by Houghton Mifflin, will join Holt on February 25. Farley will split his time between San Diego where he resides and Holt’s offices at the Flatiron building in New York.

John Sargent said, "John Sterling has done a fantastic job at Henry Holt and he leaves it after a recording a superb year. He is, as ever, curious, ambitious and eager for the new challenge. Fortuitously, some of our digital initiatives have now reached the point where they need an experienced publisher to shepherd them forward. I am delighted that John will continue to publish his authors here and also help us develop new relationships, both ink on paper and digital."

Sargent continued, "It is a great joy to welcome Dan Farley to Macmillan and Henry Holt. Dan has had a remarkable track record in this industry. He brings to the job both a great passion for books and a keen business mind (and unfortunately a love for the left coast). Dan’s stature and experience will allow Holt to seamlessly build on its current success."

John Sterling said, "I’ve enjoyed my near-decade at Holt tremendously, and with a record number of bestsellers and a wealth of terrific books across all our adult and juvenile imprints, 2007 was an especially satisfying year. But now I’m eager for something old and something new-I want to devote more time to acquiring and editing books, and I also want to take on a variety of challenges across Macmillan, most especially those involving digital businesses. I’m very grateful for having the opportunity to pursue both my continuing desire to work with talented authors and my keen interest in developing new businesses."

Dan Farley said, "I’m very pleased to come to work with the prestigious Holt program and to join the great team that is in place. The adult and children’s lists both feature a dazzling line up of authors, and I’m excited to help publish them. I see enormous potential at Holt and look forward to building on John’s legacy."

Macmillan, the U.S. subsidiary of Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck, GMbH, includes the trade publishing houses of Farrar, Straus & Giroux; Henry Holt and Company; St. Martin’s Press; Tor Books; Picador; and Macmillan Audio. Also included in the group are Palgrave Macmillan, the academic and scholarly publishing company; the Bedford Freeman Worth college publishing group; and Scientific American.

John Sterling Out as Publisher and President of Henry Holt