The Penguin-Random House Merger and the Biggest Publisher on Earth Are Here

The two houses have completed their merger, resulting in the world’s largest book publisher: Penguin Random House.

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Random House parent company Bertelsmann and Penguin parent company Pearson announced Monday that the merger of the two publishers is complete, thus resulting in the world’s largest book publisher: Penguin Random House.

The merger follows approval by the U.S., Canada, the EU, Australia, New Zealand and China.

Random House CEO Markus Dohle will serve as CEO of Penguin Random House; Bertelsmann owns 53 percent of the combined company, and Penguin owns 47 percent. Combined, the companies publish over 15,000 books annually and have 10,000 employees, with revenues of $3.9 billion.

One of the combined company’s goals is to advance in the digital and emerging ebook markets. “Together, we can and will invest on a much larger scale than separately in diverse content, author development and support, the publishing talent, the entire spectrum of physical and digital book acquisitions, production, marketing, and distribution, and also in fast-growing markets of the future,” Bertelsmann CEO Thomas Rabe said in a statement. “We are accelerating the transformation to digital and leveraging the entire range of possibilities it offers. We also are promoting regional growth, especially in the emerging markets of China, India, and Brazil.”

The press release notes the far-reaching footprint that Penguin Random House will have: “Penguin Random House will combine the adult and children’s fiction and nonfiction print and digital trade book publishing businesses of Penguin and Random House in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and India; Penguin’s trade publishing activity 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 included and remains part of Bertelsmann, reporting to Dohle.)

Among the leadership changes:

  • Coram Williams, who was CFO for Penguin, will now serve as CFO for Penguin Random House (PRH) and will oversee Author Solutions, the self-publishing business that Penguin acquired last year.
  • David Shanks is stepping down as CEO of Penguin and will serve as senior executive advisor to Dohle.
  • Madeline McIntosh, who was COO of Random House, becomes president and COO of PRH in the U.S.
  • Brad Martin, who was president and CEO of Random House Canada, becomes CEO of PRH Canada.
  • Tom Weldon, who was CEO of Penguin U.K., becomes CEO of PRH U.K.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.