July 05, 2016 | Press


Sarah Bates made Commercial Director of UK Books Division
Ali Dougal promoted to Fiction Publishing Director
John Packard promoted to Brands and Licensing Publishing Director

Egmont Publishing, leading specialist children’s publisher in the UK, has announced three senior appointments in its UK Books team.

Sarah Bates has been made Commercial Director of the books division in the UK – a new role across Fiction, Picture books, Non-fiction, Gift and Brands and Licensing – reporting into Cally Poplak, MD Egmont Publishing, UK.

Bates moves from her current global role in Egmont Publishing as Director Egmont Creative Solutions and prior to that she held the position of Brands and Licensing Publishing Director at Egmont in the UK.

Bates, who has previously worked at BBC Books, Ebury and Orion, in marketing roles across Non-fiction, Fiction and Brands commented: “I am extremely proud to build on the success of our outstanding publishing team, with its expertise in nurturing gifted writers and illustrators, in turning children’s brands into much-loved book collections, and in publishing books that make all children proud readers.”

Cally Poplak, MD Egmont Publishing, UK credited Bates with “having the perfect mix of creativity and commerciality” and said she was “uniquely placed to continue Egmont’s ambitious growth plans across the portfolio.”

Ali Dougal has been promoted to Fiction Publishing Director leading the team of five editors. Previously Editorial Director for Fiction at Egmont, Ali has launched and built bestselling and critically acclaimed authors such as Jim Smith, Katherine Woodfine and Lisa Heathfield.

John Packard, previously Publisher of top brands, including Star Wars, Minecraft and Halo, and of Egmont’s market leading Annuals range, has been promoted to Brands and Licensing Publishing Director.

Melissa Fairley, Publishing Director of Picture Books and Gift and Tiffany Leeson, Creative Director will report into Sarah Bates.

Poplak commented: “Sarah, Ali and John are already Egmont stars and I’m thrilled to be harnessing their talent in these new roles, alongside those of Melissa and Tiffany.  I am excited about the publishing flair across all strands of the list and expert understanding of what children love to read, because Egmont is about making all children believe that reading is for them through a portfolio that champions wonderful writers and illustrators and much-loved characters and brands.”

Dougal said: “I am absolutely delighted to be heading up Egmont’s fiction list, building on its superb reputation for publishing a book for every child. In my seven years at Egmont I have been lucky to have worked with some exceptional authors, illustrators and colleagues. I am excited by the challenge to nurture Egmont’s dynamic, high-quality list and acquire new talent to inspire even more children to read.”

Packard commented: “I have had the privilege of working on some of the world’s biggest and best brands and I’m thrilled to be taking this new challenge at such an exciting time at Egmont. I am looking forward to growing our reach, maintaining our number one position in the brands and licensing market and most importantly publishing the very best quality books, based on favourite characters and popular brands to engage children in reading, who might not otherwise have picked up a book.”

Notes to editors:

For further information, interview requests or images, please contact:

Katy Cattell PR and Communications Director kcattell@euk.egmont.com or on

020 3220 0640

About Egmont Publishing

In the UK, Egmont Publishing is the leading specialist children’s publisher for babies to teens, inspiring children to read through more than 25 million award-winning books, magazines, ebooks and apps sold each year. We’re proud to be home to many of the world’s favourite stories and best-loved authors, illustrators and characters such as Michael Morpurgo, Andy Stanton, Enid Blyton, Julia Donaldson, Lemony Snicket, Michael Grant (Gone series and BZRK), Winnie-the-Pooh, Tintin, Mr. Men, Thomas & Friends, Disney Princess, Ben 10, Fireman Sam, Angry Birds, Minecraft and Star Wars.

Egmont Publishing is part of Egmont, a leading Danish media group, with activities in 30 countries and 6,600 employees. Our media world includes Nordisk Film, TV2 in Norway, cinemas, book publishers, educational publishers and PlayStation, as well as a number of partly owned film companies, including Zentropa.

Egmont is a commercial foundation that generates revenue amounting to EUR 1.6 billion. Every year we donate over EUR 10 million to help improve the lives of children and young people.