Diamond Book Distributors announced the hire of a new president today, Tony Lutkus, formerly of Penguin Random House. Josh Hayes will continue in his role as Executive Vice President and report to Lutkus.

Diamond Book Distributors handles the bookstore sales of a number of important comics publishers, most prominently Image, but also Dynamite, Aftershock, Valiant, Udon and Magnetic, among others. So having a knowledgeable industry vet at the helm is reassuring for many reasons.

Lutkus brings lots of industry experience to the post:

Lutkus has more than 15 years of senior management and leadership experience in the publishing industry including a decade of strategic development and plan execution in partnership with publishers to optimize product development, pricing, merchandising, digital advertising, social media, publicity and retail promotions. Most recently, Lutkus served as Senior Director, Sales & Marketing for Penguin Random House. Prior to that, Lutkus served as International Sales & Marketing Director for Hachette Book Group.

As President, Lutkus will provide expanded leadership to drive growth for DBD and its publishing partners. “I am thrilled to welcome Tony as DBD’s new leader. He brings a stellar track record in the publishing industry as well as the background and expertise to help propel DBD into the next phase of growth,” said Chuck Parker, President Diamond Comic Distributors. “I am confident in Tony’s ability to lead DBD to future success.”

Lutkus said, “Diamond Book Distributors represents the very best of independent graphic novel and manga publishers. I’m excited to lead an expert DBD team uniquely committed to serving publishers’ needs, to strengthening the connection with booksellers, and to reaching readers across the globe.”

At the very least, given his past experience at Penguin Random House, Diamond will be able to get some intel on other players in the game. (PRH is slated to begin distributing Marvel comics to the direct sales marketing, starting in October.)