Global learning organisation Emerald Group has announced some changes to its senior leadership team with retiring Group Chief Executive Officer Richard Bevan to hand over to Vicky Williams, current Chief Executive Officer of the Group’s publishing company.
Since joining the Group in 2008, Richard Bevan has played a pivotal role in growing both Emerald’s global and sector footprint. The Group has enjoyed strong growth during this period and undertook its most significant period of diversification with three consecutive acquisitions into the corporate learning sector, acquiring GoodPractice in 2015, Toward Maturity in 2017 and Mind Tools in 2019.
Richard Bevan, Group CEO, Emerald Group, commented on his retirement: “Emerald is a unique and exciting business, and I am hugely proud of what the business has achieved during my tenure. We have enjoyed consistently strong growth, whilst delivering significant business change and diversifying into new products, together with a more substantive move into corporate learning through Emerald Works. I’ll genuinely miss being a part of what is a very special business.”
Richard hands over to Vicky Williams at the start of October. Vicky has held a variety of senior roles within the Emerald Group over the past 21 years. After her appointment as the first female CEO of Emerald Publishing in 2018, Vicky has been renowned for her ethos of collaboration and partnership, and her drive to do things differently. Under her leadership she has led initiatives to challenge imbalances in academic publishing through external partnerships, innovation in the open research arena, and a focus on broader research impact. Since 2018, Emerald Publishing has twice been the recipient of the IPG Academic and Professional Publisher of the Year, has been awarded the Bookseller Academic, Educational and Professional Publisher of the Year, and last year was named the IPG Independent Publisher of the Year.
Speaking of her appointment, Vicky Williams, CEO of Emerald Publishing, said: “I am extremely honoured to have the opportunity to lead the Group into its next exciting phase of development, and want to thank Richard for his outstanding leadership and mentorship. Above all, I am excited to be leading an incredible global team full of talented and passionate people. The opportunity ahead for the Emerald Group is vast and our priority looking ahead is to continue to listen closely to our customers and our employees, collaborate and co-create with them, and accelerate solutions that will create real change in both our academic and learning markets.”
In turn, Vicky hands over leadership of the Group’s publishing company to Tony Roche, who becomes CEO of Emerald Publishing. Tony joined the board of Emerald in 2012 as Publishing Director, following 17 years with Elsevier. During his time with Emerald, Tony has led the content commissioning and acquisition strategy, expanding the portfolio to over 350 journals, 60 of which are Gold Open Access, as well an award winning books list, teaching case studies portfolio including prestigious licensing partnerships, and most recently the launch of the world’s first open research offer for social sciences research related to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Tony’s role with Emerald broadened in 2018, to include responsibility for strategic relationships, supporting Emerald’s diversification into services for the research community. Tony also represents Emerald in the public affairs space.
Commenting on his new role, Tony, said: “It is a privilege to become CEO of Emerald Publishing, continuing the work led by Vicky and Richard before her, reflecting the vision of our founder Keith Howard. In taking up the position, I am also delighted to welcome Sally Wilson as Publishing Director, and Tom Bennett as Finance Director, succeeding Simon Cox, who remains Group FD and People Director.
Emerald’s commitment to contributing towards positive change in our communities remains as relevant as ever, particularly given the pandemic which has further exacerbated inequalities within the global research ecosystem. As one of the first signatories of the UN’s SDG Publisher Compact, we are committed to a range of actions to help realise the SDGs and create positive societal impact. Our dedicated team of colleagues around the world, working closely with customers, are critical to realising these ambitions through our content programme and digital services, and we are committed to achieving all of this as a responsible business.”