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Thomas Nelson promotes Schoenwald to CEO Print Email
Written by Eric Tiansay   
Tuesday, 12 April 2011 09:14 AM America/New_York
Thomas Nelson has promoted Mark Schoenwald from chief operating officer to chief executive officer.

The Nashville-based publisher's current president, Schoenwald assumes the CEO position from Michael Hyatt, who is stepping out of active management but will continue to serve as Nelson's chairman of the board.

Writing in his blog, Hyatt said that he hired Schoenwald in 2005 as chief sales officer, then promoted him to president and chief operating officer in 2009. "I have watched him grow and develop over the years," he said. "He is an outstanding executive in every way, yet humble and committed to our company's Christian mission. He was my first choice as a successor, and I know he will do a terrific job."

Announced earlier this week, the move was made because Hyatt said that he wanted to “spend more time externally focused: writing, speaking and pursuing other business interests.”

"This is not a big surprise to my family or closest friends," he wrote on his blog. "I love the creative life, and I was finding it increasingly difficult to give expression to my gifts while running a company the size of Thomas Nelson. I feel that this is the perfect time to make this transition."

Prior to joining Nelson, Schoenwald served as president of several home décor, garden and gift companies including New Creative Enterprises, One Coast Network and Kennedy Group. He also served in multiple roles with Lenox brands.

Schoenwald said that Nelson "is focused on growth." "The company will embrace change, and we will move quickly to scale new ideas and opportunities that will be available in this rapidly changing business environment," he said. "As Thomas Nelson enters its 214th year of business, we have never been more excited about our future."

The world's largest Christian publisher finished its fiscal year on March 31 "with very strong momentum," Hyatt said. Nelson has several books on the best-seller lists, including Todd Burpo's Heaven Is for Real, which has been ranked No. 1 on the New York Times Paperback Nonfiction best-seller list for 10 straight weeks.

"The company is healthy, vibrant and poised for growth," Hyatt said on his blog. "We have a talented and proven successor in Mark, who can lead the company forward."