Book publisher Penguin Random House today completed its merger in a move that will see Penguin’s headquarters move from London to New York and Random House’s UK boss, Dame Gail Rebuck, step back from the day-to-day running of the company.
The merger, which was first announced by Penguin parent company Pearson and Random House parent Bertelsmann last October, has won regulatory clearance sooner than some analysts had expected. Markus Dohle, previously chairman and chief executive of Random House and now chief executive of the newly merged group, unveiled its new board of directors.
Bertelsmann has five seats on the board and Pearson has four, reflecting their respective shareholdings of 53% and 47%.
John Makinson, previously chief executive of Penguin, is chairman of Penguin Random House.
Rebuck, one of the most respected figures in British publishing, has also been appointed as a director in her new role as chair of the Penguin Random House UK board. However, it is understood that she is stepping back from the day-to-day running of the business, after previously serving as both chairman and chief executive.
She will still be heavily involved in dealing with authors and overseeing the UK business.
In addition, Rebuck remains on Bertelsmann’s group management committee in her capacity as UK “country co-ordinator”, looking after its interests that range from TV group Fremantle Media to BMG music rights.
Penguin Random House employs 10,000 and publishes 15,000 titles worldwide. Penguin has strong British roots but the company played down the fact it will be based in New York, as Penguin already has a major presence in America.