Sargent Leaving Macmillan

From Publishers Weekly:

In a surprise announcement this morning, Holtzbrinck announced that John Sargent, CEO of Macmillan, will leave Macmillan and its parent, Holtzbrinck Publishing Group, on January 1. Don Weisberg, president of Macmillan US Trade, has been named to succeed Sargent as CEO of Macmillan Publishers, while Susan Winslow, general manager of Macmillan Learning, will head that division as president. In addition to overseeing all of Macmillan, Sargent was an executive v-p of Holtzbrinck.

In making the announcement, Holtzbrinck said Sargent’s departure is due to “disagreements regarding the direction of Macmillan.”

The family shareholders, the supervisory board, my colleagues and I thank John Sargent deeply for making Macmillan a strong and highly successful publishing house and for his most helpful advice,” Stefan von Holtzbrinck, CEO of the Holtizbrinck Publishing Group, said in a statement. “John’s principles and exemplary leadership have always been grounded in worthy, essential causes, be it freedom of speech, the environment, or support for the most vulnerable. Since Holtzbrinck shares these ideals, they will live on.

Link to the rest at Publishers Weekly

In case anyone harbored any misconceptions about who the real bosses of Macmillan are.

As PG has said before, the CEOs of Big Publishing are nicely-tailored middle managers. “The family shareholders” and similar groups and entities are the real bosses.

PG suspects “disagreements regarding the direction of Macmillan” translates from the original German as “Mr. Sargent didn’t make his numbers. We want to see more sales and much higher profits.”

However, since PG doesn’t speak German and his last name is not von Holtzbrinck, all this is idle speculation.

However, in the midst of this little dust-up, you must never forget that, first and foremost, traditional publishers are Curators of Our Culture or, more specifically, Kuratoren unserer Kultur.