Rakuten Kobo hires Pieter Swinkels as chief content officer

News - International Thursday, 31 January 2019

Mandate for ex-publisher includes working with authors, agents and publishers and building the Kobo Originals strand of exclusive content

Reporting to ceo Michael Tamblyn, Swinkels is to be responsible for the growth of Kobo’s worldwide content catalogue and building business relationships with publishers, agents and authors. His other responsibilities include expanding the Kobo Writing Life self-publishing platform, expanding the Kobo Plus subscriptions service, and the Kobo Originals programme of new and exclusive eBooks, audiobooks and podcast content.

Previously Swinkels held the role of executive vice president of Publisher Relations and Content, and before joining Rakuten Kobo in 2011, Swinkels worked in publishing, principally as a publisher at De Bezige Bij in Amsterdam.

Tamblyn said: "Pieter knows publishing from the inside out, has tremendous respect for authors and the work that they do and has been able to take that insight to innovate in how we engage with and build new businesses that readers find compelling. Everything we do starts with great books and he has been instrumental in making sure we are always able to put the very best in front of our readers no matter what their interest."

In other changes, Alan MacNevin, formerly chief marketing officer, has been appointed to the role of chief operating officer, overseeing the company’s day-to-day operations. Dave Anderson, formerly executive vice president of Content Sales, has been appointed to chief strategy officer, overseeing corporate development, big data, and the global supply chain operation. Marianne Hamilton was recently made chief marketing officer.

Owned by Tokyo-based Rakuten and based in Toronto, Rakuten Kobo Inc is one of the world’s larger eReading services, offering more than 6 million eBooks and audiobooks to millions of customers in 190 countries.

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