Less than three weeks after wrapping up their acquisition of Thomas Nelson, HarperCollins executives have installed the Nashville company's CEO at the helm of a newly organized Christian publishing group.
In his new role, Mark Schoenwald will oversee both Thomas Nelson and Michigan-based peer Zondervan. The latter's CEO, Scott McDonald, will step down from his post but advise the company for a while.
Schoenwald's new job will be a bit of a juggling act. He will remain based in Nashville, but will spend time at Zondervan's home base in Grand Rapids. In a statement, HarperCollins said the two business 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."
“I feel blessed to have the opportunity to lead the Christian publishing division for HarperCollins Publishers,” said Schoenwald. “I anticipate a smooth transition as we begin to work together, optimizing all strengths to create an even more successful publishing program for these two distinct brands which, combined, have 300 years of publishing experience and history.”
HarperCollins agreed to buy Thomas Nelson last fall for an undisclosed sum. The storied local publishing had been under the wing of private-equity firm Kohlberg & Co. since mid-2010.