• Meet the leadership team

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      Joanna Prior

      I am the CEO of Pan Macmillan. I joined the company in April 2022, after thirteen years as managing director of Penguin General Books, one of eight publishing houses at Penguin Random House in the UK. I joined Penguin in 1998 as publicity director and corporate communications director and added marketing to my remit over time. Before Penguin I worked at Fourth Estate, then a small indie publisher and had a brief stint as editor of the Sunday Telegraph Magazine. I found my way into publishing by chance, thanks to a friend whose job I covered for a fortnight when she was on holiday. I realised immediately I'd found a business I was absorbed and fascinated by.

      Over the years I've been privileged to work across the industry, as a past President of The Publishers Association, past chair of the Consumer Publishing Council and as Chair of World Book Day in 2012. I served on the board of the Women's Prize for Fiction for ten years and was Chair for six, stepping down in March 2022.  In May 2023 I was elected back onto the Publishers Association Council.

      I am passionate about improving access to books, reading and creativity for everyone and I have been a Trustee of the National Literacy Trust since 2015, becoming Chair in March 2022.

      I have no idea how I could choose a favourite Pan Macmillan book.  I read very widely, but am happiest buried in fiction. Colm Tóibín is one of my favourite writers and his novel Long Island (May 2024) is unforgettably good.

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      Chief Operating Officer

      James Long

      As Chief Operating Officer, my role is all about making things run smoothly and efficiently, providing leadership and strategic direction across our operational areas, and creating the conditions for successful publishing and for Pan Mac to keep growing. 

      I lead our supply chain, including production and inventory management, and the continuous development of our core processes and capabilities, including data and analytics, and technology. I also now lead our audio publishing.

      My first step into the publishing world was selling second-hand books in Johannesburg and I also reviewed books on radio. I came to London in 2001, and started as a publications assistant in a medical learned society. I moved on to a software company, where I didn't stay long but I did learn a lot: I was determined to build a career in book publishing, now with digital skills to help me. I joined Macmillan in 2005 and held roles in digital marketing, digital publishing, and sales analytics before taking a leadership role in publishing operations. In 2019, I led the project to move Pan Mac into our new home at the Smithson.

      I mostly read fiction - SFF, crime & thrillers, and literary - and also enjoy history, travel writing and literary biographies. I dip into poetry, essays and short stories to fill the gaps between big books. I'm one of those who has five books on the go at once. Since the pandemic, I find I do a lot more of my reading in audiobook format as it fits so helpfully with other activities.

      My favourite Pan Macmillan book has to be The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, not least because it gave us the answer to life, the universe and everything.

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      Lara Borlenghi

      I am the CFO of Pan Macmillan and am responsible for Finance teams both at Pan Mac and the Shared Service Centre in Basingstoke. The Contracts team also reports to me and I work closely with Pan Mac India and South Africa and sit on the MPIL board.

      I came to publishing quite late in my career, and trained to be a Chartered Accountant after university despite studying Classics. After many years working in finance roles in various media companies including Warner Music, Grazia Magazine, Magic Radio and BBC Studios, I joined Pan Macmillan in 2012 as Finance Director. I'm a big reader and read pretty widely and can often be found in BookBar in Highbury.

      A selection of my favourite Pan Mac books include The MiniaturistA Little LifeThe Square of SevensThe Sea of Tranquility and The Skylarks' War.

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      Director of People and Culture

      Briony Grogan

      I’m the Director of People and Culture. I look after everything relating to our people from recruitment to development to diversity, equity and inclusion.

       I’m new to publishing, joining from News UK where I worked in HR roles for twelve years, most recently as HR director and diversity lead. Prior to that I worked in HR roles at HMV Group and Waterstones.

      From a young age I’ve loved reading fiction so I regularly have to pinch myself to believe that I now work within publishing. My goal is to open up reading and therefore publishing to a wider, less-traditional audience.

      My favourite book is A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara because I was gripped and emotional throughout. I felt changed, for the better after having read it. That is the power of a good book. I enjoy reading fiction, autobiographies and the occasional business or self-improvement book.

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      UK & Ireland Sales Director

      Christine Jones

      I am the UK & Ireland Sales Director and my job is a total delight – I work with the whole UK & Ireland sales team and, having worked at lots of different publishers (Penguin US, Penguin UK, S&S among them), I can tell you we have the best and most talented sales team in the business. 

      My first job in publishing was with the German academic microfiche publisher KG Saur where I was a marketing assistant. I really wanted to be in consumer publishing but as I've said to countless publishing hopefuls – take the job. You will learn and you will keep learning and eventually you will end up where you want to be, or somewhere you never imagined being but end up loving.

      My reading tastes are very broad and it is so hard to choose a favourite Pan Macmillan title, such an embarrassment of riches. Special mention must go to To Paradise by Hanya Yanagihara – a true tour de force; the completely stunning Patrick Melrose novels (by Edward St Aubyn) which I adore – but the hands-down winners have to be the Cazalet Chronicles by Elizabeth Jane Howard. These five books contain multitudes; I've read the whole series four times and every time they come up fresh and I discover new wonderful things about them.

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      International Director

      Jonathan Atkins

      As International Director, I look after our export sales and the management of our sister companies in India and South Africa. I feel very privileged to have worked in an inspiring industry for three very different but exceptional publishers - Penguin, Simon & Schuster and, since 2010, here at Pan Macmillan.

      The opportunity to meet famous celebrities and great writers from George Best to Elton John, Hanya Yanagihara to Scott Turow has been a delightful perk of the job. And I continue to be grateful for the opportunity to travel to some of the great cities of the world and meet interesting people.

      My favourite Pan Mac books?The Road by Cormac McCarthy was first on my reading pile when I joined the company and I was completely blown away. More recently I have read everything from the incomparable Patrick Radden-Keefe and Empire of Pain is a truly stunning work of non-fiction.

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      Group Communications Director and Global AI Lead

      Sara Lloyd

      I’m the group communications director, looking after marketing, publicity and communications across our adult and children’s publishing divisions with a team of over sixty brilliant and creative people who I am very lucky to work with. My job includes understanding the audiences for books and how to reach them, as well as staying on top of communications trends and technology, setting strategy and budgets, managing and developing the people on my team, setting ambitious goals and driving some of our biggest books through to market. 

      I also look after the reputation and profile of Pan Macmillan as a company with the help of my corporate comms team, ensuring we tell a clear story about what makes us unique and different. I sometimes get involved in group-wide initiatives as well, including key business change and transformation projects.

      I got into publishing after a degree in English Literature and a short spell in journalism in the early nineties – and really couldn’t love it more: the people and the product are both incredibly special. I love reading commercial and book club fiction, as well as the occasional autobiography or smart thinking book. My favourite book at the moment has to be The Ghost Ship by Kate Mosse. Kate writes characters that you take to your heart and puts them in the most extreme situations against the rich backdrop of historic events, and this is one of her most original and best ever. 

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      Managing Director – Macmillan Children’s Books

      Belinda Rasmussen

      I am the Managing Director of Macmillan Children’s Books. We are proud to be the original publishers of literary treasures including Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, along with many other outstanding authors and illustrators. Our publishing lists are rich and varied, entertaining and educating a broad range of readers, from board books for babies to fiction for young adults.

      Half Danish and half Italian, I’m the first member of my family to work in publishing. Luckily, just as I was finishing university in Florence in Italy, a position as Rights Assistant at Dorling Kindersley became vacant. I jumped on a flight, interviewed and was given the job. I started ten days later and never looked back!

      Prior to joining Pan Macmillan in 2011, I was Managing Director of Carlton Publishing Group and before that spent nine years at Egmont in a number of senior sales roles. 

      I have so many favourite Pan Macmillan books, Shuggie Bain, The Empire of Pain, Ann Cleeves' crime stories, but I'll choose The Morning Gift by Eva Ibbotson, an absolute gem.

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      Managing Director – Pan

      Lucy Hale

      I'm managing director of Pan: I started my publishing career, aged twenty, in the export department of Macmillan Press with no grand career ambitions apart from working with books that I loved and with people whose company I enjoyed.  

      Macmillan provided me with all of that and more and for the next twenty years I progressed through sales and marketing roles, both in the UK and internationally, eventually becoming international sales director and then UK sales director for Pan Macmillan. 

      I left to join Hachette in 2003 and worked in sales and marketing roles for Hodder and Stoughton before being appointed deputy CEO of Hodder and Stoughton, John Murray Press, Quercus and Headline Publishers. In 2020 I returned to Pan Macmillan to take up the role of publisher of Pan and in 2023 I was promoted to the newly-created role of managing director of Pan, reporting directly to Pan Macmillan CEO, Joanna Prior. 

      Established in the 1940s as one of the early popular paperback publishers, Pan has always sought to publish all kinds of books for every kind of reader. Today, the Pan division is home to Pan Fiction and Pan Non-Fiction, hardback imprint Macmillan, speculative imprint Tor, reading group imprint Mantle and last year we launched Macmillan Business, expanding Pan’s range even further. This year – Pan’s eightieth – we are excited to launch two new imprints under Tor: Bramble and Nightfire.

      Anyone familiar with our incredible roster of authors at Pan will understand that choosing my favourite Pan book would be an impossible task, so I will say Colm Tóibín's Long Island, publishing on the Picador list in May 2024.

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      Bluebird Publisher

      Lizzy Gray

      I’m the new Publisher of Bluebird and One Boat. We are dedicated to high quality, stylish and purposeful non-fiction, which offers clear solutions, new concepts or empowering stories to help audiences live better and happier lives. Empathy lies at the heart of our work. I oversee the tight-knit Bluebird and One Boat team while also acquiring and editing a handful of my own books. 

      I joined Pan Macmillan after eleven years at Ebury, Penguin Random House, where I was Deputy Publisher and fortunate to publish global authors including Yotam Ottolenghi, Mary Berry, Samin Nosrat, Bored of Lunch, Caroline de Maigret, Fergus Henderson, Claudia Roden, Madhur Jaffrey, Paloma Faith and Yungblud, and launch a wellbeing imprint, Happy Place Books, in partnership with broadcaster Fearne Cotton. Before Ebury, I worked at HarperCollins, The Ivy Press, Pavilion and Simon & Schuster, alternating backpacking around the world with periods of enjoyable employment.

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      Picador Publisher

      Mary Mount

      I am the Publisher of Picador, one of the UK's most vital literary imprints. I lead the Picador editorial team at Pan Macmillan, which means overseeing a group of fantastic editors and publishers who are commissioning and publishing fiction, non-fiction and poetry. I also acquire a small list of my own books within the imprint, in both fiction and non-fiction.

      My first foray into the publishing world was a month of work experience at Pan Macmillan in the mid-1990s which led, via a year in the publicity department, to five years in Picador editorial first as an assistant and then becoming an editor. In 2001 I moved to Viking, then an imprint of Penguin Books, where I stayed for twenty years, editing and publishing a range of fiction and non-fiction and ending up as the Publisher of the fiction list there. I returned to the Picador fold in 2022.

      It's impossible to pick a favourite book from Pan Macmillan's extraordinary list – there are so many great writers and titles to choose from – but if I have to I would choose A House for Mr Biswas by V.S. Naipaul.