Isabelle Saporta fired from her position as CEO of Éditions Fayard

16 April 2024 / Radouan Kourak

When Isabelle Saporta was appointed head of Éditions Fayard in 2022, it triggered a series of departures of prestigious authors from the publishing house, including Virginie Grimaldi and Jacques Attali. Today, it is she herself who must leave her post, forced and forced. The French publishing giant, Hachette Livre, announced last Tuesday that it had fired Isabelle Saporta, citing “strategic disputes”.

The conflict revolves around Ms. Saporta's refusal to transfer the Fayard brand to another publishing house in the Hachette group, owned by Vivendi. This house must be run by an editor with whom Saporta has political disagreements. Indeed, Fayard, under the direction of Saporta, has always positioned itself as a rather left-wing publishing house, while the arrival of a right-wing leader could change the brand's editorial line.

Fayard, one of the oldest publishing houses in France, has been led by Isabelle Saporta since June 2022, after having been an author and external editor for the house. The announcement of the dismissal comes after weeks of conflict between Fayard and Hachette Livre over the brand. Fayard employees expressed their support for their management in a letter addressed to the management of Hachette Livre, requesting the complete separation of the Fayard and Mazarine brands, the latter to be managed by the new designated publisher.

The departure of Isabelle Saporta is now official, as announced in a press release published by Hachette Livre. This departure is attributed to “strategic disputes” with Saporta. The group regrets these differences, but has made the decision to terminate his functions as CEO of Éditions Fayard.

Following this announcement, two names are being considered to take over as president of Fayard. It will not be Lise Boëll, the director of Mazarine editions, as initially envisaged. The potential candidates are Sébastien Le Fol, former director of “Point”, and Alexandre Wickham, editorial director at Albin Michel. A third name, that of Jean-François Colosimo, director of Editions du Cerf, is also circulating in the discussions.

The departure of Isabelle Saporta thus marks the end of an era for Fayard, with potential implications for its editorial line and its positioning on the French political scene.