Claude Durand having informed his shareholder, Hachette Livre, of his intention not to seek his reappointment as Chairman and CEO of Editions Fayard, Olivier Nora will be appointed Chairman and CEO of Fayard at the next meeting of the company’s board of directors, scheduled on April 8, 2009.
Arnaud Nourry, Chairman and CEO of Hachette Livre, has praised Claude Durand’s almost thrirty year tenure in the following terms: “Claude Durand is one of the great publishers of the 20th Century. Loyal, resolute, fearless, he proved to have an outstanding eye for literary talent and a knack for publishing controversial non-fiction. Standing by his authors at all times, Claude has shown he was an all-round publisher in the best sense of the word. In his almost thirty years at the helm of Fayard, Claude dramatically improved its reputation and visibility, turning it into one of the most influential publishing houses in France.”
Arnaud Nourry has asked Olivier Nora to sort through and present him with the various options leading to a joint development of Grasset and Fayard, two prestigious houses with impressive histories, top quality talent and awesome lists.
Arnaud Nourry said: “In almost ten years at the head of Grasset, Olivier Nora has provided ample evidence of his ability to make the right editorial choices, deserve the trust of his authors and manage human resources. I am confident he will step up to the challenge and prove worthy of the Claude’s splendid legacy.”
Claude Durand, who will remain a member of Fayard’s board of directors, said: “After half a century of publishing and almost thirty exhilarating years at the helm of Fayard, I will be leaving the company confident that, thanks to hundreds of authors from different walks of life and to dozens of talented colleagues, I have made a significant contribution to this country’s culture and an unapologetical and uncompromising contribution to the public debate.
“Though I’m aware we are facing difficult times, I wish my successor experiences the same pride and pleasure I have running Fayard, and am confident he will be as respectful as I was of its identity and vocation. He knows he can count on me as he takes the helm.
“As a matter of courtesy one is expected to pay homage to the owner when one returns the keys of a house we were entrusted with. My grateful thoughts go to the memory of Jean-Luc Lagardère, and may his son Arnaud accept the warm farewell of this ageing and sometimes unruly publisher”.