John Wiley and Sons names publishing veteran as new CEO

Hoboken’s John Wiley and Sons Inc. has named Brian A. Napack its new CEO and president, effective Dec. 4.

Napack follows Matthew Kissner, who has served as interim CEO since May. Kissner will stay on as chairman.

“I am delighted to introduce Brian Napack as the 14th CEO in Wiley’s proud 210-year history of empowering discovery, advancement and learning,” Kissner said. “After a thorough and thoughtful search, the board of directors unanimously agreed on Brian as the type of proven leader that can drive our continuous evolution as the trusted, innovative partner that our customers rely on to deliver the critical content, tools and services that they need to meet their goals. Brian has the deep industry experience, the passion for our business and the leadership ability to get us there.”

Napack comes to Wiley from Providence Equity Partners, a global private equity firm with more than $50 billion under management, where he has been a senior adviser focused on investments in education and media.

He currently is a director on the boards of Blackboard, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Burning Glass, Ingram Industries, Recorded Books, myON, Synergis Education and Zero To Three, a science-based early childhood advocacy organization.

He will transition off some of these boards as a result of the new appointment.

Napack previously served as president of Macmillan, the global content publisher, where he oversaw businesses in education, consumer books, digital media and magazines. There, he helped drive significant, profitable growth and to transform the company from a traditional publisher to an innovative provider of digital content, tools and services to its rapidly changing institutional and consumer markets.

Before that, Napack was a partner at LEK Consulting, a global management consulting firm, where he led strategy, operations and merger and acquisition engagements throughout the media, entertainment, and communications industries.

He was also founder and CEO of ThinkBox, a digital media company focused on pre-K-12 education.

At The Walt Disney Co., he founded and ran Disney Educational Publishing and was a co-founder of Disney Interactive. Earlier in his career, he held senior roles at Simon & Schuster, the global publishing company, and A.T. Kearney, a leading management consulting company.

“It is truly an honor to join Wiley at such an important moment in the company’s history,” Napack said. “I have long admired Wiley’s foundational strength — its deep history, its culture of excellence, its world class publishing assets and its strong financial position. I look forward to working with my new Wiley colleagues around the world to tackle the many exciting opportunities and challenges being presented by our markets and, in doing so, continue our tradition of exceeding the expectations of our customers, partners and shareholders.”

Jesse Wiley, director and member of the seventh generation of the Wiley family, welcomed Napack’s “proven success” while thanking Kissner “for his stewardship, deep engagement and strong initiative during his tenure as interim CEO. In a short time, he has made a positive impact in our organization that I know Brian will build on.”