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Simon & Schuster Canada’s president and publisher Kevin Hanson left the major publishing house this week after nearly two decades atop the company, just months after a significant shakeup of its top fiction and non-fiction ranks.

In an e-mail to staff Wednesday, S&S’s global chief executive Jonathan Karp praised Hanson’s efforts to help the publisher “become a vital presence in the Canadian marketplace.”

Karp did not provide reasons for Hanson’s exit or name an immediate successor. Hanson was actively involved in day-to-day business and overseeing future titles, even in recent days. Jeremy Cammy, S&S Canada’s vice-president of marketing and publicity, declined to respond to questions from The Globe and Mail about Hanson’s departure.

Cammy did confirm a separate recent departure from S&S Canada’s editorial ranks. Sarah St. Pierre, who was named editorial director just last fall, is departing to become a senior editor at Penguin Random House, S&S’s larger rival among the big publishing houses.

Simon & Schuster Canada executive, author of bestseller The Maid, leaves amid major staffing changes

The Canadian division’s parent company has spent recent years mired in uncertainty over its ownership, with private-equity firm KKR closing a US$1.62-billion acquisition of the publisher last October – after it was blocked by a U.S. judge from merging with Penguin Random House.

There have also been significant changes in S&S Canada’s top editorial staff since the fall. Its vice-president and editor-in-chief, Nita Pronovost, left in November, just as she published the book The Mystery Guest under the pen name Nita Prose – a sequel to her 2022 novel The Maid, which sold more than a million copies in North America alone. In October, Felicia Quon, vice-president marketing and communications, as well as Adria Iwasutiak, vice-president, director of publicity and Canadian sales, departed the publisher. (Quon recently was announced as sales director of the B.C. publisher Page Two.)

S&S Canada has also made significant hires since the fall, including former HarperCollins non-fiction editorial director Jim Gifford and Rosemary Shipton, the founding co-director of Toronto Metropolitan University’s publishing program, as executive editors. Cammy, an Indigo Books and Music veteran, was hired as a vice-president in the same period.

Hanson was first named president of S&S Canada in 2005 after working as a vice-president at HarperCollins Publishers and as chief operating officer of Madison Press Books. He added publisher to his title in 2013, helping S&S boost its catalogue of Canadian authors – bringing in titles from Stephen Harper, Jesse Thistle and Kathy Reichs, among others.

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