Penguin Random House CEO Marcus Dohle resigns after failed merger

The CEO of Penguin Random House, the world’s largest trade publisher, is stepping down weeks after an attempt to buy rival Simon & Schuster was blocked by a federal court.

Markus Dohle’s decision is effective at the end of the year. He will be temporarily replaced by Nihar Malviya, 48, who is currently the President and COO of Penguin Random House.

“Following the antitrust ruling in the US against the merger of Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster, I have decided to turn to the next chapter after nearly 15 years on the executive board of Bertelsmann and at the helm of our global publishing business. Penguin Random House to its new leadership,” Dohle, 54, said in a statement released Friday by Bertelsmann, the German conglomerate’s parent company.

Dohle is also giving up his seat on Bertelsmann’s executive board. According to Bertelsmann’s announcement, his departure was made “at his own request and on the best mutual terms”.

Dohle was named CEO when Penguin Random House was still Random House and presided over an era of enormous growth, notably the 2012–13 merger with Penguin that made the new company the undisputed market leader of the industry. But the failed purchase of Simon & Schuster proved to be an embarrassment for Dohle, who had pushed hard for the $2.2 billion deal.

After a dramatic trial this summer that included testimony from bestselling author Stephen King, who opposed the $2.2 billion merger, a federal judge deal blocked in November.

Paramount Global, the parent company of Simon & Schuster, just said that intends to sell Publishing House. Paramount is also the parent company of CBS News.

“We regret Marcus Dohle’s decision to leave Bertelsmann and Penguin Random House,” Christopher Mohn, chairman of Bertelsmann’s supervisory board, said in a statement. “He has driven Penguin Random House’s relentless focus on growth and profitability. Under his leadership, our book division has more than doubled its revenue and grown its profit fivefold. The fact that our global book publishing group is today It’s in such a strong position, it’s largely thanks to Marcus.” Dohle.”

Dohle’s contract was due to expire in December 2025.

CBS News’ Irina Ivanova contributed reporting.

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