Reorganization at HarperCollins Christian Publishing Leaves Mix of Zondervan and Thomas Nelson Execs in Charge

A month after appointing its CEO, HarperCollins has finalized the leadership team for its newly formed Christian publishing unit, a combination of what had been the two leading Christian publishers in the U.S., Zondervan and Thomas Nelson.

In late July, just weeks after closing on its acquisition of Thomas Nelson, HarperCollins appointed Thomas Nelson CEO Mark Schoenwald president and CEO of a combined unit. Scott Macdonald, the president and CEO of Zondervan, did not get the job but was asked to stay on in an advisory role.

While the senior executive appointments announced today by HarperCollins in a statement come from both houses, the most important roles seem to have been reserved for former Thomas Nelson executives: the new chief financial officer, head of e-media, head of sales and head of communications, for instance, are all former Thomas Nelson executives. (See below.)

Several executives have been let go as a result of the reorganization, a company spokesperson revealed to Digital Book World. The spokesperson declined to comment on exactly who will no longer be with the company due to the reorganization, however, several key Zondervan executives were not included in the announcement.

The following executives will now report to Schoenwald:

Stuart Bitting is now senior vice president and CFO; he had been the EVP and CFO of Thomas Nelson.

Annette Bourland is now SVP of Zondervan book publishing; she had been SVP and publisher at Zondervan.

David Moberg is SVP Thomas Nelson book publishing; he had been vice president and group publisher at Thomas Nelson.

Chip Brown is now SVP of bible publishing; he had been SVP and publisher at Zondervan.

Paul Engle is now SVP of church, academic and reference resources; he had been SVP and publisher at Zondervan.

Stan Gundry, is now Zondervan’s editor-in-chief; he had been EVP and editor-in-chief at Zondervan.

Eric Shanfelt is SVP of eMedia; he had the same position at Thomas Nelson.

Tod Shuttleworth is now SVP os Spanish and international publishing; he had been SVP and group publisher at Thomas Nelson.

Carol Nygren is now managing director of live events management; she had been EVP and managing director of live event management at Thomas Nelson.

Tom Knight is now SVP of sales; he had held the same position at Thomas Nelson.

Rachel Barach is now general manager of Bible Gateway; she had held the same position at Zondervan.

Al Kerkstra, SVP support operations and human resources; he had held the same position at Zondervan.

Casey Harrell is now director of corporate communications; she had performed the same role at Thomas Nelson.

HarperCollins announced its $200 million acquisition of Nashville-based Thomas Nelson late last year but the acquisition didn’t close until July 11.

Reorganization image via Shutterstock


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