Random House has hired children’s book publishing veteran Barbara Marcus to replace Chip Gibson as president and publisher of Random House Children’s Books, according to a memo circulated in the company from Random House chairman and chief executive Markus Dohle.
Marcus spent 22 years from 1983 to 2005 as president of children’s book publishing and distribution for New York-based children’s book publisher Scholastic. At Scholastic, Marcus helped grown distribution revenues to $1.2 billion from $120 million during her tenure. She also directed the acquisition of the Harry Potter series of books for U.S. distribution. Marcus comes most immediately from Open Road Media where she was working as an advisor, leading the publishing start-up’s children’s book business, a position she held for two-and-a-half years.
Gibson, a 30-year Random House veteran, had been leading the children’s book division for a decade and will step down to take an extended leave from work. In his letter to the company, Dohle praised Gibson’s long tenure and accomplishments while heading children’s publishing.
“In our company of remarkable careers, few have accomplished as much for as long and are as universally loved and respected as Chip is,” wrote Dohle, later adding, “With Children’s enjoying a successful 2012, and well set for the future, Chip feels he has accomplished almost everything he originally set out to do professionally.”
Marcus’s responsibilities at Random House will be to lead the strategy and day-to-day operation of the children’s book publishing business. She will also sit on the company’s worldwide board. Marcus currently sits on several outside boards, including educational software company Knowledge Adventure, family abuse non-profit Graham Windham and children’s reading non-profit Firstbook, according to her LinkedIn profile.