Penguin Random House CEO Markus Dohle to step down

Mr Dohle’s decision, effective at the end of the year, comes just weeks after a US federal judge blocked the company’s attempt to buy rival Simon & Schuster.
Penguin Random House CEO Markus Dohle to step down
Markus Dohle (Alamy)

Markus Dohle is stepping down as the CEO of the world’s largest trade publisher, Penguin Random House.

Mr Dohle’s decision, effective at the end of the year, comes just weeks after a US federal judge blocked the company’s attempt to buy rival Simon & Schuster.

The 54-year-old said in a statement released by the firm’s parent company, the German conglomerate Bertelsmann: “Following the antitrust decision in the US against the merger of Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster, I have decided, after nearly 15 years on the Executive Board of Bertelsmann and at the helm of our global publishing business, to hand over the next chapter of Penguin Random House to new leadership.”

Mr Dohle is also leaving his seat on the Bertelsmann executive board.

His departure was made at “his own request and on the best of mutual terms”, according to the Bertelsmann announcement.

The CEO will be succeeded, on an interim basis, by Nihar Malaviya, 48, currently president and COO of Penguin Random House.

Mr Dohle was named CEO when Penguin Random House was still Random House and presided over an era of enormous growth, notably the merger in 2012-13 with Penguin that made the new company the industry’s unchallenged market leader.

But the failed purchase of Simon & Schuster proved an embarrassment to Mr Dohle, who had strongly pushed for the deal.

Christopher Mohn, chair of Bertelsmann’s supervisory board, said in a statement: “We regret Markus Dohle’s decision to leave Bertelsmann and Penguin Random House.

“He has sustainably focused Penguin Random House on growth and profitability. Under his leadership, our book division more than doubled its revenues and quintupled its profit.

“The fact that our global book publishing group is in such a strong position today is largely thanks to Markus Dohle.”

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