Eva Dillon to Step Down From Reader’s Digest

evadillon04072010.jpgReader’s Digest announced today that Lisa Sharples is president of Reader’s Digest Community, effective today. In her new role, she will focus on developing the company’s digital portfolio.

Sharples replaces Eva Dillon, who had been president of Reader’s Digest Community and also oversaw Reader’s Digest since March 2007. Dillon will leave the company by the end of this year. In the meantime, Dillon will oversee the publishing side of the business as the company looks for a replacement.

Sharples has previously been president of Allrecipes.com and held leadership positions at Classmates.com, Garden.com and Allrecipes.com.

Press release after the jump.


PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y., April 7 /PRNewswire/ — The Reader’s Digest Association, Inc. today announced its intention to accelerate the transformation of its Reader’s Digest Community division across all platforms through the appointment of a digital pure-play executive to lead the brand into the future. Effective immediately, Lisa Sharples, President of Allrecipes.com in Seattle, will become President of Reader’s Digest Community, the division that encompasses all assets of the Reader’s Digest brand.

This expanded role builds upon Sharples’s current responsibilities, which include overseeing readersdigest.com, the US Reader’s Digest website, as well as her extensive digital, branding and e-commerce experience developed through leadership roles at Classmates.com, Garden.com and Allrecipes.com. Sharples will oversee the Reader’s Digest brand worldwide and continue to leverage its reach through new multimedia platforms. She will report directly to Mary Berner, President and Chief Executive Officer.

“Today’s announcement reflects our continued commitment to the future of the Reader’s Digest brand,” Berner said. “We are fast becoming a content-creation company that engages customers globally through any channel they desire. We intend to accelerate this strategy by putting the Reader’s Digest brand under Lisa’s direction. Her Seattle-based team has built the world’s largest food and cooking website that’s one of the company’s fastest-growing brands and an example of the significant strides being made toward realizing RDA’s vision to create the world’s largest communities based around branded content.”

Sharples will retain her role at Allrecipes.com, reporting to Suzanne Grimes, President, US Affinities, allowing continued cross-business integration of digital efforts. Under Sharples’s guidance, Allrecipes became the most frequently visited food and cooking website in the world, with 13 international online sites serving audiences in 18 countries. Sharples was named President of Allrecipes.com in May 2007, joining from Classmates.com, a leader in online social networking, where she had been Senior Vice President, Marketing since 2005. In that capacity, she helped define the business strategy while enhancing the key metrics of the business. In 1995, Sharples co-founded Garden.com, Inc., where she served as Chief Marketing & Merchandising Officer and a member of the Board of Directors. Sharples holds a Bachelor of Arts from Bowdoin College and a Master of Management from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University.

Eva Dillon, President of Reader’s Digest Community since March 2007, had decided to leave RDA before the end of this year to live full-time in Charleston, S.C., and has agreed to stay on with RDA on an interim basis, reporting to Sharples, to oversee the division’s publishing activities until a successor is named. “Eva has led Reader’s Digest Community through a series of significant achievements,” Berner said, “including overseeing the global redesign and rebranding of the flagship magazine, the U.S. web re-launch, advertising market share gains year over year, and a plan to diversify content platforms with, most significantly, the upcoming launch of the new sub-brand, Reader’s Digest Version.”

RDA is a global multi-brand media and marketing company that educates, entertains and connects audiences around the world. The company builds multi-platform communities based on branded content. With offices in 44 countries, it reaches a customer base of 130 million in 78 countries. It publishes 92 magazines, including 50 editions of Reader’s Digest, the world’s largest-circulation magazine, operates 78 branded websites and sells 40 million books, music and video products across the world each year. Further information about the company can be found at www.rda.com.