New CEO for Jonathan Ball Publishers as Jonathan Ball retires
Media24’s board of directors today approved the appointment of Eugene Ashton (37) as chief executive officer of Jonathan Ball Publishers. He steps into his new role on 1 October 2015 following the retirement of publisher extraordinaire Jonathan Ball at the end of September after 40 years at the helm of the publishing business he founded.
Esmaré Weideman, chief executive of Media24, said Eugene was the natural successor to Jonathan and the ideal candidate for the position. “Jonathan Ball Publishers will be in very good hands with Eugene at the helm. He has a unique understanding of the complex requirements of the British and American publishers that JBP represents in South Africa and has built excellent relationships with them over the years.”
Eugene joined Jonathan Ball Publishers in 1998, after working for Exclusive Books, and has been with the publishing house for the past 17 years. He is currently sales and marketing director and has extensive experience in not only book publishing, but also financial management and eBook commerce. He is the chairman of the trade sector of the Publishers’ Association of South Africa, serves on the executive management team and is the association’s treasurer.
Eugene holds a master’s degree in Historical and Cultural Studies from the University of Pretoria. He has also completed various management and financial management courses.
Jonathan Ball will continue to play a role at the publishing house as publishing consultant. “I am delighted that Eugene will succeed me, he has a developed understanding of our business and our industry and we have worked closely together for many years,” says Jonathan.
Eugene said that it has been an honour working with Jonathan and a privilege to be mentored by him. “In some respects it is always tough being appointed CEO following the founder, but I am proud of our legacy and look forward to continuing in the spirit that so defines JBP.”