Cover Story: What's So Hot About Hachette?
"I think publishing is the greatest team sport invented," says David Young, chairman and CEO of Hachette Book Group (HBG). "We work hard to have fun and celebrate success, and deal with problems as a team. That's what we try [to] foster here."
Teamwork: To Young and others at Hachette, it's much more than just a vague notion. It's a guiding philosophy, a strategy cultivated during difficult, transitional times, and one that has helped the company grow. It's also one of the main reasons Hachette has been selected as this year's "Best Book Publishing Company to Work For."
A Little Communication Goes a Long Way
When Time Warner Book Group was acquired by Hachette Livre in April 2006, executives of the newly christened Hachette Book Group quickly realized that effective communication would be key to a smooth transition.
"When we went through that process, we had to redesign everything," says Young. "I think we've been very clear and work hard to make sure all employees understand what it all means to them."
Right after the acquisition, which involved a major internal reorganization and a move to new headquarters (though, Young says with obvious pride, no attrition of staff), the company established a Pulse Committee, which allowed representatives from every department in the company to meet regularly, share information and evaluate progress. Young also set up CEO Inbox, a forum inviting employees to share comments, suggestions and concerns (anonymously, if desired) directly with the CEO.
"It's quieted down a lot recently, but you can imagine when we were first acquired and were moving our business from 6th Avenue to Grand Central, there were a lot of questions," Young says. "I think we make ourselves very available and listen carefully to the issues that are raised by our employees."
This ethos of openness and inclusion has carried over into day-to-day operations at Hachette, according to Vice President of Human Resources Andrea Weinzimer.