MGC, 1969 leaver

Following a start in academia – I obtained a PhD in American Literature from Nottingham University and my first job was as a lecturer in English and American Literature at the University of Hong Kong – I decided in favour of a career in book publishing.

My first job was at Granada Publishing as a Rights Manager, but I then moved to Transworld where over the next fifteen years I rose to become Hardcover Publisher.  I was asked to join Little, Brown Book Group as the overall Publisher in 2000 and was appointed Chief Executive and Publisher in 2006.  Over the next ten years I led the company to two Publisher of the Year awards in 2010 and 2014. I was President of the Publishers’ Association from 2012 – 2013.  I handed over the CEO role to my chosen successor in 2015, becoming Chairman until I retired at the end of 2016.

I now sit as a non-executive director on the Boards of Profile Books and Andrew Nurnberg Associates. I am also President of The Book Trade Charity.

What does success look like?

Success is doing a job that you really enjoy – I never had to get up in the morning thinking ‘I’ve got to go to work today’. You spend far too much time at work for it to be merely something that pays for what you like to do at the weekends.

What is your best piece of advice?

Don’t worry too much about being a ‘success’ at school – I was never even a prefect in my middle school house! But ensure you get the best education possible and aim for a career about which you will feel passionate.

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