Emerald names Vicky Williams as its new chief executive officer

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Publishing firm Emerald has appointed Vicky Williams as its new chief executive.

The move will see Richard Bevan, who has been chief executive since 2010, take on the additional role of executive chairman with its Founder, Dr Keith Howard, stepping down as chairman after 50 years.

Dr Howard will remain a member of the Emerald Group board.

Ms Williams has held a variety of senior roles at Bingley-based Emerald in her 18 years at Emerald, including head of publishing development, director of business and development and, most recently, director of people and CEO of Emerald’s creative agency business, Research Media.

A Cambridge graduate with an MA in International Business from Leeds Beckett, Ms Williams is also a keen advocate for gender diversity in academic publishing, launching Emerald’s workplace gender diversity programme, Stride, and appearing as a panellist on the issue at international academic conferences and events.

She said: “I am extremely honoured to have the opportunity to lead a business packed full of talented and passionate people that put the needs of our communities of authors, editors, librarians, research officers, institutions and their students at the heart of everything we do.

“With this ethos and a changing academic publishing landscape in mind, we look forward to further collaborating with our communities to tackle pressing issues, such as impact, open access, big data, and research funding.

“Equally, we will continue to champion - as evidenced by our recently launched Real World Impact initiative - quality management and social sciences research that can be brought to life in applied real world settings, and to nurture fresh thinking in those subject areas.”

Mr Bevan said: “Vicky is the ideal person to lead and further inspire our scholarly publishing business.

“Sharp-minded, curious, determined, steeped in the academic publishing market and with a great talent for leadership, Vicky has excelled in all the roles she has held at Emerald, and was the obvious choice when it came to choosing the right candidate for this critical appointment.”

The firm publishes more than 300 journals, 2,500 books and 1,500 case studies,