I'm a few days behind on the news, but was stunned today to see that German publishing conglomerate Holtzbrinck has renamed its U.S. operations as Macmillan. (See the full story here at Publishers Weekly.)
For those of us who worked for Macmillan USA for several years in the '90s (when it wasn't being called Prentice Hall, Paramount, Simon & Schuster, Pearson, and whatever else), this is bound to bring a twinge of fond remembrance. We were on top of the computer and reference book world, and the energy of that place and time were just amazing. But things change, corporations fall apart, recombine, and reemerge. Names get used and reused until really, what meaning do they have? Holtzbrinck is betting that people will still associate the name Macmillan with a solid, world-dominating publisher.