Novel appoints Amazon veteran Simon Morris as chairman

Entertainment industry leader has held positions at Sky, Sega and LOVEFiLM

Podcast production company Novel has appointed Simon Morris, former chief creative officer at Amazon and founder of LOVEFiLM, as chairman of the company’s board.

Morris was part of Amazon for almost 20 years, joining after the company acquired streaming service LOVEFiLM in 2004. He has also held previous roles as marketing director at Sky and Sega, where he launched Sonic The Hedgehog, as well as co-founding digital publishing company 365 Corp. 

“Podcasting and streaming is the most exciting place to be in entertainment right now,” Morris said, “and Novel has an amazing track record of creating hit shows. I see something in Novel that I’ve seen in all the successful entertainment organisations I’ve been part of: an obsessively high creative bar. 

“My job is to help steer this ambitious independent company on its growth journey, harnessing its potential by scaling Novel’s success and taking its world-class content across platforms and borders. Novel’s growth trajectory is unstoppable.”

Novel has made a name for itself as a production company by securing key partnerships with a number of platforms, including Wondery, iHeart, Audible and Apple. The company’s most recent hit was Stolen Hearts, a true-crime series for Wondery that hit the top of the charts.

“Simon's unbelievable energy and experience will be game-changing for Novel. His iconic track record – from LoveFilm to Amazon – is precisely what we're looking for,” said Sean Glynn, founder and CEO of Novel. “He gets us, our vision, and will be key in driving our business and brand to the next level.”

Also joining the company’s board is Dan Rookwood, operating partner and head of brand at VGC Partners. The growth fund invested £5 million into Novel last year, and Rookwood – who has previously held editorial positions for Nike and Mr Porter – will be seeking to support the company’s international expansion aims.

“To have the backing of investors like Dan with such deep appreciation and flair for editorial craft is a rare thing,” Glynn added. “VGC’s commercial savvy, operational excellence and unrivalled network make them ideal partners for Novel as we move into an exciting new phase of expansion.”