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Resignation letter from Markus Dohle, CEO of Penguin Random House

Resignation letter from Markus Dohle, CEO of Penguin Random House

Markus Dohle resigns after 15 years as CEO of Penguin Random House.

The CEO of Penguin Random House, Markus Dohle, resigned last Friday, December 9. The departure follows the blocking of the merger with Simon & Schuster for violating U.S. antitrust laws. Dohle will be succeeded by Nihar Malaviya, Penguin‘s current head of U.S. operations.  We at Publishnews have had access to his resignation and farewell letter:

«Dear friends and colleagues,

Following the U.S. antitrust decision against the merger of Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster, I have decided – after 15 years as CEO of Random House, which became Penguin Random House – to hand over the next chapter of our global publishing business to new leadership.

It gives me great pleasure and joy to share that our respected and admired colleague, Nihar Malaviya, will take over as interim CEO of Penguin Random House worldwide early in the new year. Nihar and I have worked together on an almost daily basis from my first day at Random House to the development of our global strategy for the coming years. Nihar is a perfect fit for this position, and I am very excited about his appointment.

With this change, my thirty-year career at Bertelsmann is almost at an end. I could not be happier to continue to support Bertelsmann in an advisory role going forward. I would like to thank Bertelsmann and the Mohn family-especially Liz and Christoph Mohn-for their support of my decision and the trust they have placed in me over the decades. As a lifetime member of the company’s publishing business, I am honored that throughout my career Bertelsmann has given me responsibilities for the entire book value chain: initially in distribution, sales, printing, and production and, during the second half of my career, in support of you and our authors as we have acquired, refined and launched the best books into the world.

We have spent 15 fantastic years together, seizing unique opportunities and overcoming great challenges, from the 2008 financial crisis to digital transformation and from the biggest meltdown in publishing history to the first global pandemic in a hundred years. But none of these events and phases could distract us from focusing – creatively and painstakingly – on one book at a time. Our day-to-day efforts have had countless positive effects: our authors’ books continue to win prizes and awards, continue to change cultural conversations and social discourse, and continue to inspire the hearts and minds of our readers around the world. I have always said that book publishing is culture and commerce, in that order. As a result, during our time together, our company has also more than doubled its revenues and quintupled its profits, with an all-time high last year.

Of course, I do not underestimate the current macroeconomic and geopolitical challenges. But rest assured that my view of the future of our beloved book and paper industry and Penguin Random House‘s position in it is as optimistic as ever, and my optimism is based on data and facts.

In the years ahead, I am confident that they will continue to create and shape the future of books and reading in our society for generations to come. Books and long-form reading are important, perhaps more than ever, and that is why our society needs the service and work you do every day. So please continue to work with creativity and entrepreneurial spirit.

To all of you, I am eternally grateful for sharing this journey and for your support and trust. It has been the honor of my professional life and a lot of fun to serve you, our authors, your agents, our booksellers, and ultimately our readers every day. And looking at our community around the world, we can all be proud of what we have built and accomplished together.
So thank you! And so long.»

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