Simon Boughton, senior v-p and publishing director of Roaring Brook Press, FSG Books for Young Readers, and First Second, is leaving Macmillan after 13 years with the company and 17 with Roaring Brook. Jennifer Besser, who is president and publisher of G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, will assume his role on October 30.
“It’s been a pleasure and education to work with such a creative, dynamic, and hard-working group of people,” Boughton said in a statement. “I wish everyone at Macmillan continued success in the future.”
Boughton founded Roaring Brook Press in 2000, and joined Macmillan in 2004 following its acquisition of Roaring Brook; he was named publishing director for the three imprints in 2008. Boughton was both editor and publisher for Caldecott Medalists Mordicai Gerstein and Eric Rohmann, Caldecott Honoree Lane Smith, Printz Award–winner Marcus Sedgwick, and Newbery Honoree Steve Sheinkin.
“It has been a privilege working with Simon,” Jon Yaged, president and publisher of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, said in a statement. “He leaves a legacy of acclaim, distinction, and quality publishing that extends from the founding of Roaring Brook Press to his oversight of FSG BYR, to the stellar growth and accomplishments of First Second Books. He will be missed.”
Prior to her stint at Putnam, Besser was executive editor at Disney-Hyperion, where she edited a list of writers that included Rick Riordan and Melissa de la Cruz. At Putnam, she was responsible for publishing Rick Yancey’s 5th Wave series and editing the Newbery Medal and Caldecott Honor–winning Last Stop on Market Street, by Matt de la Peña and Christian Robinson, among others. Authors she has worked with include Maile Meloy, Adam Gopnik, and Harlan Coben.
“I’m incredibly grateful to the inspiring group of colleagues, authors and illustrators who made Penguin Random House a home,” Besser said in a statement. “As hard as leaving home is, I’m thrilled to join the Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group and to be part of such a vibrant, talented team.”
Besser has previously worked with both Yaged and Macmillan president Don Weisberg. In 2010, when Weisberg was president of Penguin Young Readers Group, he hired Besser from Disney. Yaged had been v-p and publisher at Disney before moving to Macmillan in 2011.