World book day appoints UK Theatre’s Cassie Chadderton as its first Chief Executive
We are delighted to announce that Cassie Chadderton, Head of UK Theatre, has been appointed the first Chief Executive of World Book Day. She will take up the post in October with Kirsten Grant continuing in her role as Director.
‘I’m thrilled to be joining World Book Day as its first Chief Executive, and to have this wonderful opportunity to build on its profile and success,’ Cassie said. ‘I’m looking forward to developing its ambition to give even more children and young people across the country, and from all backgrounds, the chance to be excited about reading and books.’
As Head of UK Theatre, the major professional association for theatre and the performing arts in the UK, Cassie represented the interests of the sector with political and policy stakeholders and was placed 44th on The Stage’s ‘100 most influential’ list. Previously Director, Media and Stakeholder Relations at Arts Council England she developed relationships to promote the importance of the arts within the creative economy.
Cassie began her career in publishing, with companies including Fourth Estate, Little Brown, Macmillan and William Heinemann where she was Publicity Director from 2003 to 2007 and led campaigns for bestselling authors such as Kathy Reichs and James Ellroy. She is also a Fellow of the RSA and a Trustee for the National Campaign for the Arts.
In recent years, World Book Day has made a strategic move to reach deeper into the workplace, and corporate and public sector life to galvanise an ever-wider constituency around the benefits of reading at an early age, and the importance of sharing stories. With her track record of representing policy and political and stakeholder relations within the arts sector, Cassie is well-placed to take the charity to the next level and to realise its mission to give every child and young person the opportunity to read and love books.
Stephen Lotinga, Chief Executive of the Publishers Association and Chair of World Book Day, said, ‘I am delighted to welcome Cassie as the first CEO of World Book Day. Cassie’s experience in both the publishing sector and with the Arts Council England and at UK Theatre are a perfect combination to take the charity into its next chapter. The World Book Day Charity has gone from strength to strength thanks to the tremendous work from Kirsten and the team over the years and we are excited to see where the charity and its core objectives around reading for pleasure can be developed even further.’
Cassie joins World Book Day after one of its most successful years to date, with book token redemptions up 3% and sales of the £1 books in excess of one million. A new ‘Share a Story Live’ events programme brought authors, illustrators and the reading for pleasure message to 3000 children in low literacy areas and 20,000 free £1 World Book Day books were given to prisoners to read with their children in all HM prisons in England and Wales for the first time.