HarperCollins Publishers yesterday announced Mark Schoenwald has been appointed president and CEO of its new Christian publishing division. This expanded division is comprised of Zondervan and the newly acquired Thomas Nelson. Each will continue to publish its respective brands and maintain its unique editorial focus. Schoenwald will report to Brian Murray, president and CEO of HarperCollins Publishers Worldwide, and will serve on the HarperCollins executive committee. Scott Macdonald will leave his position as president and CEO of Zondervan and will serve in an advisory role.
“Mark is an experienced leader in the Christian publishing market, and we are thrilled to have him at the helm of our newly expanded Christian division,” said Murray. “The new division adds further scale and balance to HarperCollins overall portfolio, and Mark will work closely with the leadership teams of HarperCollins, Thomas Nelson, and Zondervan to build on the individual strengths of each company.”
“I am grateful to Scott for his leadership and professionalism during his tenure with Zondervan. He has achieved everything I asked him to achieve at Zondervan during a most challenging time in the company’s history,” Murray continued.
Schoenwald has been with Thomas Nelson since 2004 when he joined as chief sales officer. In 2009, he was promoted to president of the company and in 2011 named CEO. Under Schoenwald’s leadership, Thomas Nelson has seen both double-digit revenue and operating income growth, as well as had several titles make the New York TimesBestsellers List, including Heaven Is for Real and Jesus Calling. Prior to joining Thomas Nelson, he served as president of several prestigious home décor, garden and gift companies. He began his career at Lenox Brands, serving in various sales, marketing and operations positions.
Schoenwald will remain based in Nashville, TN, and will spend part of his time in Grand Rapids, MI, where Zondervan will continue to operate from its current location. The two companies have different, though complementary, missions, and both will continue to acquire and publish books specific to those missions, competing as they have in the past, but collaborating where appropriate.