A New Chapter For Berrett-Koehler


Posted by Steve Piersanti - 19 September, 2018

Dear Berrett-Koehler Community Member,

Ever since I founded Berrett-Koehler Publishers in 1992, I have been working two jobs: as president/CEO/publisher and as an editor acquiring and developing books. As Berrett-Koehler (“BK”) has grown in size and complexity, it has become increasingly difficult for me to do both jobs well. I’m now 65 years old, and I have decided to step down, effective in mid-2019, as president and CEO. 

However, I am not yet ready to retire, so I will continue as a full-time BK acquiring editor for books—which is the role I have always believed I was best at performing and which has given me the greatest satisfaction.

I believe that this transition will be a great benefit to Berrett-Koehler Publishers. The new president/CEO/publisher will be able to give fuller attention to this demanding role and bring expertise that I do not have.  And I will be able to make even larger editorial contributions to BK. After mid-2019, I will no longer serve on BK’s management team or serve in any managerial capacity, except that I will continue to serve on the company’s board of directors.

We recognize that Berrett-Koehler’s distinctive mission, values, practices, culture, and commitments mean that the new president/CEO/publisher will need to bring awareness, skills, leadership approaches, and other qualities that fit our company. For the past year, teams of members of the BK staff and board of directors have been creating a selection process and system that we believe will increase the likelihood of selecting such a person for this role.  

We have created several documents to spell out the process for applying, the job description, and the criteria that we will be using in assessing applicants; these documents can be found at the BK website here: https://www.bkconnection.com/president-ceo-publisher-job-post.

Interested candidates should submit their applications by October 17, 2018, as specified in the job post on the BK website.

We especially welcome applications from members of the BK community who have personal knowledge of and connection to the dimensions that make BK distinctive and successful. We have strong potential candidates currently serving on the BK staff but also welcome applicants from outside our staff.

I am confident that this transition will strengthen what is good, distinctive, and important about BK and help us to achieve even more beneficial impact in the world as well as economic success. BK is well positioned for a successful leadership transition for several reasons:

  • The economics of the company are solid, with fifteen years in a row of continuous profitability.
  • For many years we have been taking steps—such as becoming a certified B Corp and Benefit Corporation, creating a BK Constitution, creating links with allied organizations (the BK Foundation and the BK Authors cooperative), and strengthening our stakeholder-based board of directors—to build and help preserve the most important dimensions of BK.
  • We have also been expanding and advancing our business on many fronts, including adding new book lines, expanding our marketing capabilities in major ways, and pioneering in digital and online publishing and resources. There is a lot of wind in our sails for continuing growth. 
  • We have a strong management team—including several department heads who have been with the company for more than ten years—and well-developed management and organizational systems.

There is a strong base for continuing to move forward under a new president/CEO/publisher. If you know of someone who would be the right leader for BK, please let that person know about this opportunity by directing them here.


Steve Piersanti

President, CEO, and Publisher

Topics: Leadership, Berrett-Koehler

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