Ken Carson

Ken CarsonKen Carson
Chief People Officer and General Counsel

Ken Carson is the Chief People Officer and General Counsel for Cengage Learning. In this role, he is dually responsible for all aspects of Human Resources within the organization and managing the legal affairs of Cengage Learning's businesses worldwide. As Chief People Officer, he oversees and provides HR–related consultation and guidance to business leaders and employees, and ensures that the company’s global HR strategies and programs are aligned with overall business goals.

In his General Counsel capacity, he acts as Secretary to the Board of Directors, and also is responsible for establishing company–wide best practices in balancing legal risk and business priorities.

Mr. Carson also takes a leading role in the development of strategies for the acquisition and maintenance of intellectual property in support of growth initiatives. At the industry level, Mr. Carson is a member of the Association of American Publishers' Copyright Committee, providing an opportunity to influence industry–wide issues affecting Cengage Learning.

Mr. Carson joined The Thomson Corporation as Associate General Counsel in 1994, and was appointed Assistant General Counsel in 1998. In those roles, he worked for all Thomson businesses, including Thomson Learning, gaining broad experience in all aspects of information publishing. He became General Counsel of Thomson Learning, now Cengage Learning, in 2001 after acting as Thomson's lead in–house counsel in the Harcourt, Inc. acquisition.

Mr. Carson joined Thomson from Maxwell Macmillan, where he was assistant general counsel from 1989 to 1994. Prior to that, from 1985 to 1988, he was associated with the law firm of Gordon Feinblatt Rothman Hoffberger & Hollander, in Baltimore, Maryland. He also served as a law clerk at the Delaware Chancery Court from 1984 to 1985.

Mr. Carson received his law degree from the University of Maryland in 1984. He is based out of the Cengage Learning Boston, MA office.

Michael Pietsch
Chief Executive Officer
Hachette Book Group

Michael Pietsch, Hachette Book Group CEO, has worked in book publishing for nearly forty years. As CEO, he has overseen the creation of the nonfiction publishing division Hachette Books and the acquisitions of Perseus Books, Black Dog & Leventhal, and Hyperion Books. In his career as an editor and Publisher at Little, Brown and Company, he worked with acclaimed and bestselling writers including James Patterson, J.K. Rowling, Stephenie Meyer, Malcolm Gladwell, Donna Tartt, Michael Connelly, Tina Fey, David Sedaris, Anita Shreve, Walter Mosley, Stacy Schiff, Alice Sebold, Peter Guralnick, Rick Moody, Chad Harbach, Keith Richards, and David Foster Wallace. Prior to Little, Brown, Michael had editorial roles at David R. Godine, Charles Scribner’s Sons, and Crown Publishing. Michael continues to edit a few books a year, and serves on the boards of PEN America, Poets & Writers, and the Association of American Publishers. He attended Booker T. Washington High School in Norfolk, Virginia, and Harvard College in Cambridge, Massachussetts.  He and his wife, Janet, a children’s book editor, have three children and live north of NYC.