Corner Office Interview: Susan Bolotin
After a 20-year stint in newspaper and magazine journalism, Susan Bolotin became the editor-in-chief of Workman Publishing in 2000; she is now also the acting publisher. She began her career at Random House, and then moved to Simon & Schuster, where she was the editor-in-chief of Touchstone Books. While there, she published The Road Less Traveled, which holds the distinction of being on The New York Times best seller list longer than any other book. She eagerly awaits the day — not many months away — when Workman's What to Expect When You're Expecting takes over that special spot in bookselling history.
Workman Publishing Company has been producing award-winning calendars, cookbooks, parenting guides and children's titles, as well as gardening, humor, self-help and business books, since 1968. Peter Workman, founder, president, and CEO, passed away on April 7 of this year at age 74 from cancer.
How are you adjusting to business in the wake of Peter Workman's death?
What's happened is Peter surrounded himself with smart people who know what they're doing, people doing their jobs as always with energy, commitment and intelligence. That shows it's going to continue. Before he died, Peter had made clear he wanted a small management committee, which consists of five of us. We meet once a week with Carolan and Katie Workman. We report to the family, and it will remain a family-owned business. This is working just fine. If you were to ask the family, they would probably say, "I don't know how long this management arrangement will be in place," but right now the overwhelming feeling is that this is working.
Everyone needs time to adjust to a reality without Peter. In time, decisions will be made about whatever type of management structure supports the company. The Workman family will remain sole owner.