Penguin Random House

Last updated

Penguin Random House LLC
Type Private (Subsidiary)
FoundedJuly 1, 2013;9 years ago (2013-07-01)
Headquarters Random House Tower, New York City, United States
20 Vauxhall Bridge Rd, London, United Kingdom
Area served
Key people
  • Nihar Malaviya (Interim)(CEO)
  • Thomas Rabe (Chairman)
  • Madeline McIntosh (CEO, PRH US)
  • Jim Johnston (CFO)
RevenueIncrease2.svg€4 billion (2021)
Number of employees
10,000 (as of July 1,2013)
Parent Bertelsmann
Website OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
Footnotes /references

Penguin Random House LLC is an Anglo-American multinational conglomerate publishing company formed on July 1, 2013, with the merger of Penguin Group and Random House. [2] [3]


On April 2, 2020, Bertelsmann announced the completion of its purchase of Penguin Random House, which had been announced in December 2019, by buying Pearson plc's 25% ownership of the company. With that purchase, Bertelsmann became the sole owner of Penguin Random House. Bertelsmann's German-language publishing group Verlagsgruppe Random House will be completely integrated into Penguin Random House, adding 45 imprints to the company, for a total of 365 imprints. [4]

Random House Tower, New York Penguin Random House Tower New York 2005.jpg
Random House Tower, New York

As of 2021, Penguin Random House employed about 10,000 people globally and published 15,000 titles annually under its 250 divisions and imprints. [5] These titles include fiction and nonfiction for adults and children in both print and digital. Penguin Random House comprises Penguin and Random House in the U.S., UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Portugal, and India; Penguin in Brazil, Asia and South Africa; Dorling Kindersley worldwide; and Random House's companies in Spain, Hispanic America, and Germany. [6] [7]

On November 25, 2020, The New York Times reported that Penguin Random House was planning to purchase Simon & Schuster from Paramount Global for $2.175 billion. [8] However, on November 2, 2021, the U.S. Department of Justice sued to stop the deal on antitrust grounds, a suit that eventually succeeded on October 31, 2022. [9] [10] The deal formally collapsed on November 22, 2022. [11]


Penguin Random House was founded on July 1, 2013, by Markus Dohle upon the completion of a £2.4 billion transaction between Bertelsmann and Pearson to merge their respective trade publishing companies, Random House and Penguin Group. Bertelsmann and Pearson, the parent companies, initially owned 53% and 47%, respectively. [12] Jane Ciabattari of Library Journal has referred to this merger as the publishing industry's response to the increasing dominance of in the book market. [13] Markus Dohle was named CEO of the new company, which had more than 10,000 employees worldwide with over 250 imprints and publishing houses and a publishing list of more than 15,000 new titles a year. [5] [7] [14] Penguin Random House relaunched Book Country, Penguin's online writing community, on July 29, 2013. [15] On September 24, 2014, Random House Studio signed a first-look production deal with Universal Pictures, under which Random House would be the producer of films based on Penguin Random House books. The Universal subsidiary Focus Features has frequently collaborated with Random House Films. [16] Having previously created Puffin Rock animation, Richard Haines was chosen to head Penguin Random House Children's TV development strategy with the assistance of licensing, publishing, and TV development executive Emily Campan. [17]

In November 2015, Pearson announced it would rebrand to focus on its education division. [18] On July 11, 2017, Pearson sold a 22% stake in the business to Bertelsmann, thereby retaining a 25% holding. [19] [20] On December 18, 2019, Bertelsmann agreed to acquire Pearson's 25% stake in Penguin Random House, [21] making it a wholly owned subsidiary of Bertelsmann. The sale was completed on April 2, 2020. [4] In June 2020, Penguin Random House was one of a group of publishers who sued the Internet Archive, arguing that its collection of e-books was denying authors and publishers revenue and accusing the library of "willful mass copyright infringement". [22] [23]

On November 25, 2020, Penguin Random House agreed to purchase American publisher Simon & Schuster from ViacomCBS for $2.175 billion. A formal regulatory approval process will follow the purchase agreement. [24] On November 2, 2021, the US Justice Department filed a civil antitrust lawsuit to block Penguin Random House's proposed acquisition of Simon & Schuster. The lawsuit alleges that the acquisition would create a publisher with too much influence over books and author payments. [25] On November 21, 2022, Penguin Random House decided to scrap the whole deal. As a result, it will have to pay a $200m termination fee to Paramount, a mother company of Simon & Schuster. [26]

Divisions and imprints


DK (Dorling Kindersley) was founded in London in 1974 and is a reference publisher focusing on non-fiction for adults and children.[ citation needed ]

As of 2015, DK also has official publishing relationships with Angry Birds , Lego, Marvel, Star Wars , and Disney. [27] [ better source needed ]

Crown Publishing Group

Crown Publishing was founded in 1933 as the Outlet Book Company, a remainder house, and is now a publisher of fiction and narrative non-fiction. [28] In 2018, Crown was combined with the main Random House Publishing Group. [29]

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

Penguin Publishing Group

Penguin Young Readers Group

Penguin Young Readers Group is a division devoted to books for young readers and young adults.

Random House Publishing Group

Random House Children's Books

Penguin Random House Digital Publishing Group

Penguin Random House International

Penguin Random House Publisher Services

Handling distribution and marketing for Shambhala Publications, National Geographic Books, Wizards of the Coast, Kodansha USA (including Vertical Inc.), New York Review Books, Titan Books, Other Press, North Atlantic Books, Blue Star Press, DC Comics, and Dark Horse Comics among others.

It also handles direct market distribution for Marvel Comics starting October 1, 2021 [44] and direct market distributution for IDW Publishing starting June 1, 2022. [45]

Ebury Publishing


Book Country

Book Country was a subsidiary online writing and publishing community. [46] Book Country was launched in April 2011 with a focus on romance, mystery, science fiction, fantasy. On July 29, 2013, Book Country relaunched with online writing workshops in over sixty literary categories, including literary fiction, memoir, and women's fiction. [15] As of September 2013, the site had over 10,000 members. [47] As of November 2020 the site is no longer operational.

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Publishing</span> Process of production and dissemination of literature, music, or information

Publishing is the activity of making information, literature, music, software, and other content available to the public for sale or for free. Traditionally, the term refers to the creation and distribution of printed works, such as books, newspapers, and magazines. With the advent of digital information systems, the scope has expanded to include digital publishing such as ebooks, digital magazines, websites, social media, music, and video game publishing.

Random House is an American book publisher and the largest general-interest paperback publisher in the world. The company has several independently managed subsidiaries around the world. It is part of Penguin Random House, which is owned by German media conglomerate Bertelsmann.

Doubleday is an American publishing company. It was founded as the Doubleday & McClure Company in 1897 and was the largest in the United States by 1947. It published the work of mostly U.S. authors under a number of imprints and distributed them through its own stores. In 2009 Doubleday merged with Knopf Publishing Group to form the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, which is now part of Penguin Random House. In 2019, the official website presents Doubleday as an imprint, not a publisher.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">McClelland & Stewart</span> Canadian publishing company

McClelland & Stewart Limited is a Canadian publishing company. It is owned by Penguin Random House of Canada, a branch of Penguin Random House, the international book publishing division of German media giant Bertelsmann.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hutchinson (publisher)</span> British book and magazine publisher

Hutchinson was a British publishing firm which operated from 1887 until 1985, when it underwent several mergers. It is currently an imprint which is ultimately owned by Bertelsmann, the German publishing conglomerate.

Penguin Group is a British trade book publisher and part of Penguin Random House, which is owned by the German media conglomerate Bertelsmann. The new company was created by a merger that was finalised on 1 July 2013, with Bertelsmann initially owning 53% of the joint venture, and Pearson PLC initially owning the remaining 47%. Since 18 December 2019, Penguin Random House has been wholly owned by Bertelsmann.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Viking Press</span> American publishing company

Viking Press is an American publishing company owned by Penguin Random House. It was founded in New York City on March 1, 1925, by Harold K. Guinzburg and George S. Oppenheim and then acquired by the Penguin Group in 1975.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Simon & Schuster</span> American publishing company

Simon & Schuster is an American publishing company and a subsidiary of Paramount Global. It was founded in New York City on January 2, 1924 by Richard L. Simon and M. Lincoln Schuster. As of 2016, Simon & Schuster was the third largest publisher in the United States, publishing 2,000 titles annually under 35 different imprints.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">DK (publisher)</span> British publisher of non-fiction books

Dorling Kindersley Limited is a British multinational publishing company specialising in illustrated reference books for adults and children in 63 languages. It is part of Penguin Random House, a subsidiary of German media conglomerate Bertelsmann. Established in 1974, DK publishes a range of titles in genres including travel, history, geography, science, space, nature, sports, gardening, cookery and parenting. The worldwide co-CEOs of DK are Paul Kelly and Rebecca Smart. DK has offices in New York, Melbourne, London, Munich, New Delhi, Toronto, Madrid, Beijing, and Jiangmen. DK works with licensing partners such as Disney, LEGO, DC Comics, the Royal Horticultural Society, MasterChef, and the Smithsonian Institution. DK has commissioned Mary Berry, Monty Don, Robert Winston, Huw Richards, and Steve Mould for a range of books.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Alfred A. Knopf</span> American publishing house

Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. is an American publishing house that was founded by Alfred A. Knopf Sr. and Blanche Knopf in 1915. Blanche and Alfred traveled abroad regularly and were known for publishing European, Asian, and Latin American writers in addition to leading American literary trends. It was acquired by Random House in 1960, and is now part of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group division of Penguin Random House which is owned by the German conglomerate Bertelsmann. The Knopf publishing house is associated with its borzoi colophon, which was designed by co-founder Blanche Knopf in 1925.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">New American Library</span> American publisher

The New American Library is an American publisher based in New York, founded in 1948. Its initial focus was affordable paperback reprints of classics and scholarly works as well as popular and pulp fiction, but it now publishes trade and hardcover titles. It is currently an imprint of Penguin Random House; it was announced in 2015 that the imprint would publish only nonfiction titles.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Vintage Books</span> American publishing imprint

Vintage Books is a trade paperback publishing imprint of Penguin Random House originally established by Alfred A. Knopf in 1954. The company was acquired by Random House in April 1960, and a British division was set up in 1990. After Random House merged with Bantam Doubleday Dell, Doubleday's Anchor Books trade paperback line was added to the same division as Vintage. Following Random House's merger with Penguin, Vintage was transferred to Penguin UK.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kensington Publishing</span> USA book publishing company

Kensington Publishing Corp. is an American, New York–based publishing house founded in 1974 by Walter Zacharius (1923–2011) and Roberta Bender Grossman (1946–1992). Kensington is known as "America's Independent Publisher". It remains a multi-generational family business, with Steven Zacharius succeeding his father as president and CEO, and Adam Zacharius as general manager.

Hachette Book Group (HBG) is a publishing company owned by Hachette Livre, the largest publishing company in France, and the third largest trade and educational publisher in the world. Hachette Livre is a wholly owned subsidiary of Lagardère Group. HBG was formed when Hachette Livre purchased the Time Warner Book Group from Time Warner on March 31, 2006. Its headquarters are located at 1290 Avenue of the Americas, Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Hachette is considered one of the big-five publishing companies, along with Holtzbrinck/Macmillan, Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schuster. In one year, HBG publishes approximately 1400+ adult books, 300 books for young readers, and 450 audio book titles. In 2017, the company had 167 books on the New York Times bestseller list, 34 of which reached No. 1.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Dell Publishing</span> American publisher

Dell Publishing Company, Inc. is an American publisher of books, magazines and comic books, that was founded in 1921 by George T. Delacorte Jr. with $10,000, two employees and one magazine title, I Confess, and soon began turning out dozens of pulp magazines, which included penny-a-word detective stories, articles about films, and romance books.

The Crown Publishing Group is a subsidiary of Penguin Random House that publishes across several fiction and non-fiction categories. Originally founded in 1933 as a remaindered books wholesaler called Outlet Book Company, the firm expanded into publishing original content in 1936 under the Crown name, and was acquired by Random House in 1988. Under Random House's ownership, the Crown Publishing Group was operated as an independent division until 2018, when it was merged with the rest of Random House's adult programs.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Broadway Books</span> American book publisher

Broadway Books, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a Division of Random House, Inc., released its first list in Fall, 1996. Broadway was founded in 1995 as a unit of Bantam Doubleday Dell a unit of Bertelsmann. Bertelsmann acquired Random House in 1998 and merged Broadway into a combined group with Doubleday the next year. Random House reorganized again in 2008, with Doubleday moving to Knopf and Broadway moving to its current home at Crown. Broadway's general-interest publishing was combined with Crown in 2010. Broadway became the paperback publishing for the Crown imprint in 2010.

Threshold Editions is an imprint of publishers Simon & Schuster, a division of ViacomCBS, specializing in conservative non-fiction. The publisher is Louise Burke; Mary Matalin was its founding editor-in-chief.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Random House of Canada</span> Canadian book distributor

Random House of Canada was the Canadian distributor for Random House, Inc. from 1944 until 2013. On July 1, 2013, it amalgamated with Penguin Canada to become Penguin Random House Canada.

Sourcebooks LLC, is an US-American independent book publisher located in Naperville, Illinois. The company publishes books, eBooks, and digital products and is one of the 10 largest publishers in the United States.


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Further reading