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Charlie Redmayne, EVP and chief digital officer of HarperCollins, is leaving to become the CEO of interactive Harry Potter site Pottermore.com, starting November 7. It’s a high-profile publishing hire for Pottermore.com, which recently announced that it is delaying the launch of its e-bookstore until next year.
The move was reported by UK book publishing site The Bookseller. Redmayne called Pottermore “a hugely exciting project which will take one of the greatest brands in literature into a digital future.” Redmayne replaces Pottermore’s interim CEO Rod Henwood.
HarperCollins hired Redmayne in 2009, and he was the first person to hold the position of chief digital officer. He was responsible for leading digital strategy across all HarperCollins divisions, and split his time between London and New York. In his new role, he’ll live in London full-time. HarperCollins’ statement, which does not mention Pottermore, is below.
Redmayne’s hire should alleviate concerns about the delay of the Pottermore e-bookstore, and the choice of a former publishing executive as CEO stresses the site’s focus on e-books.
Here’s the statement from HarperCollins CEO Brian Murray:
October 10, 2011
TO: All Employees
FROM: Brian Murray
I regret to announce that Charlie Redmayne has decided to leave his role as Executive Vice President, Chief Digital Officer with HarperCollins to return to London full-time.
Charlie has been a tremendous leader in the digital space during one of the most challenging and interesting times in book publishing. HarperCollins is in a terrific position because of Charlie’s efforts and accomplishments across all divisions around the world. We were fortunate to have such a talented digital executive for the last three and a half years, and I understand that we couldn’t expect him to live on both sides of the Atlantic forever.
Of his departure, Charlie said, “I’m very sad to be leaving HarperCollins — it is a terrific company and I have loved my time within it. HarperCollins has made great strides in the digital world over the last few years — because it is well led and has great people. These efforts will continue at pace and I look forward to watching their future success.”
The search for a replacement is already underway. Larry Nevins, Executive Vice President, Operations and Technology, will oversee the group until a permanent replacement is found.
Charlie’s last day with HarperCollins will be November 4. Please join me in wishing him all the best on his future endeavors.
Correction: In my headline, I briefly misidentified the executive who is leaving. I regret the error.