Michael Morrison, president and publisher of HarperCollins’s U.S. General Books Group, will be leaving the company at the end of the month when his contract expires. In a statement, Morrison, who joined HC in 1999, said: “After 35 years of going to a Manhattan skyscraper every day, I thought it was about time I experienced a different life.”
With his departure, Jonathan Burnham will be promoted to president and publisher of Harper, overseeing Harper, Harper Paperbacks, Harper Perennial, Harper Business, Harper Design, Harper Wave, Broadside Books, Amistad, and Ecco. Liate Stehlik will be become president and publisher of William Morrow/Avon, overseeing William Morrow, Avon, Dey Street, Harper Voyager, and Custom House.
According to HC, the new upper management structure will be more closely aligned with HC’s global strategy. “As our strategy has shifted towards greater global growth and as we have expanded our trade publishing program across 24 countries and 17 languages, it’s imperative that our management organization, roles, and responsibilities align with our overall approach,” emphasized HC CEO Brian Murray. Both Burnham and Stehlik will report to Murray.
When he joined HC in 1999 after working at a number of the Big Five companies, Morrison was appointed v-p and associate publisher. He subsequently served as executive v-p and publisher of Morrow/Avon and president and group publisher of the HarperMorrow division. Murray praised Morrison for running “an extremely successful publishing division in the most challenging and competitive segments of trade, during the most tumultuous period of digital evolution.”
Morrison is the second high-ranking executive to leave HC in recent weeks. At the end of December, Mark Tauber, senior v-p and publisher of HarperOne, also left the company.