Penguin Random House Emerges

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The merger of Penguin and Random House into one company, Penguin Random House, was completed on Monday, July 1. Bertelsmann, the parent company of Random House, owns 53 percent of the new venture, and Pearson, the parent of Penguin, owns 47 percent. The two companies announced their intent to merge in October 2012.

Penguin Random House brings together the adult and children’s fiction and nonfiction print and digital trade publishing houses of Penguin and Random House in the U.S., as well as in the U.K., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and India. It also includes Penguin’s trade publishing in Asia and South Africa; Dorling Kindersley worldwide; and Random House’s companies in Spain, Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia, and Chile. Random House’s German-language publishing group, Verlagsgruppe Random House, is not part of the merger.

Penguin Random House, which employs more than 10,000 people worldwide, will control more than 25 percent of the trade book market. It will publish more than 15,000 titles per year through 250 publishing imprints and is expected to generate $3.9 billion in yearly revenue.

Markus Dohle, formerly CEO of Random House worldwide, is now CEO of Penguin Random House. In letters to employees, authors, and booksellers, he assured that the merger would bring new success in all arenas and that changes in the combined company would come slowly.

During the transition period, Dohle is asking booksellers to work with Penguin Random House as though they were continuing as two separate companies. “For the foreseeable future, we expect to retain, in parallel, with no major changes, our separate sales forces, systems, distribution and operations centers, business practices, and policies — as well as your key multiple day-to-day contacts currently in place at Penguin and at Random House,” he wrote in a letter to booksellers. “In sum, it will be business as usual for now. “

Dohle also noted that Penguin Random House intends to assist booksellers in growing their retail businesses and to work with them on digital opportunities. “Going forward together, we will strive for ever-higher service levels for you, to increase the potential for your prosperity,” he said.

Among other staff changes, Penguin Random House announced the following:

  • John Makinson is now chairman of Penguin Random House; he was formerly the head of Penguin Group worldwide.
  • Coram Williams is CFO for Penguin Random House worldwide; he was previously CFO of Penguin Group.
  • David Shanks is senior executive advisor to Dohle and the U.S. executive team; he was Penguin Group U.S. CEO.
  • Madeline McIntosh is president and COO of Penguin Random House U.S; she was formerly Random House U.S. COO.

Three executives have been appointed to the Penguin Random House global corporate responsibility team, each having served in similar roles with Random House: Frank Steinert is chief human resources officer; Stuart Applebaum will be leading communications; and Milena Alberti will oversee corporate development.

Dohle also announced the Penguin Random House Global Executive Committee, which will work to determine the company’s strategic, operational, and publishing objectives. The committee includes 19 advisers from both Penguin and Random House locations.

The new company’s board of directors includes five employees from Bertelsmann and four from Pearson.