Penguin Random House US CEO Madeline McIntosh announced this week that she will leave the company. The news follows the retirement three weeks earlier of Gina Centrello, the longtime publisher and president of the Random House Publishing Group.
“In a memo to staff, McIntosh wrote that she would work Nihar Malaviya, PRH’s interim global CEO, to determine, ‘the best plan for the U.S. organization going forward,’ which suggests there are likely organizational and not just personnel changes to come,” says Andrew Albanese, Publishers Weekly senior writer.
On October 31, a federal court blocked PRH’s bid to acquire rival Simon & Schuster over antitrust grounds. In December, PRH CEO Marcus Dohle resigned.
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“PRH is resetting after its merger plans failed,” notes Albanese, adding that the trade book publisher is not alone among the Big 5 in facing stormy times.
“S&S is in the most precarious place of all, perhaps, back on the market in search of a new owner. HarperCollins is dealing with a strike and has announced a five percent cut to its workforce. Macmillan also has a new CEO in place after the departure of longtime leader John Sargent, and Hachette’s corporate ownership is involved in corporate drama in France,” Albanese tells me.
News of the HarperCollins layoffs broke shortly after announcement that a mutually-agreed-upon independent mediator would take over labor negotiations with UAW Local 2110.