Penguin Random House

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Penguin Random House LLC
TypeSubsidiary of Bertelsmann
Founded2013;8 years ago (2013)
FounderMarkus Dohle
HeadquartersUnited Kingdom/United States
Number of locations
Random House Tower,
New York City, United States
Area served
Key people
Markus Dohle (CEO)
Thomas Rabe (Chairman)
Madeline McIntosh (CEO, PRH US)
Jim Johnston (CFO)
RevenueDecrease2.svg€3.359 billion (2017)
Number of employees
10,000 (as of 1 July 2013)
Parent Bertelsmann

Penguin Random House LLC is a multinational conglomerate publishing company formed in 2013 from the merger of Penguin Group and Random House. [1] [2]


In April 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. [3]

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

As of 2013, Penguin Random House employed about 10,000 people globally and published 15,000 titles annually under its 250 divisions and imprints.[ citation needed ] 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 US, 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. [4] [5]

In November 2020, The New York Times reported that Penguin Random House is purchasing Simon & Schuster from ViacomCBS for $2.175 billion. [6] The deal is dependent on approval by international regulators.


Penguin Random House was founded in 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. [7] 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. [8] Markus Dohle was named CEO of the new company, which had more than 10,000 employees worldwide with 250 imprints and publishing houses and a publishing list of more than 15,000 new titles a year. [5] [ better source needed ] Penguin Random House relaunched Book Country, Penguin's online writing community, in July 2013. [9] In September 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. [10] 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. [11]

In November 2015, Pearson announced it would rebrand to focus on its education division. [12] In July 2017, Pearson sold a 22% stake in the business to Bertelsmann, thereby retaining a 25% holding. [13] [14] On 18 December 2019, Bertelsmann agreed to acquire Pearson's 25% stake in Penguin Random House, [15] making it a wholly owned subsidiary of Bertelsmann. The sale was completed on 2 April 2020. [3] 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". [16] [17]

On 25 November 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. [18]

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. [19] [ 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. [20]

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, DC Comics, and Dark Horse Comics among others.

It also handles direct market distribution for Marvel Comics starting 1 October 2021 [34] and direct market distributution for IDW Publishing starting 1 June 2022. [35]


Book Country

Book Country was a subsidiary online writing and publishing community. [36] Book Country was launched in April 2011 with a focus on romance, mystery, science fiction, fantasy. In July 2013, Book Country relaunched with online writing workshops in over sixty literary categories, including literary fiction, memoir, and women's fiction. [9] As of September 2013, the site had over 10,000 members. [37] As of November 2020 the site is no longer operational.

Related Research Articles

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.

Everymans Library

Everyman's Library is a series of reprints of classic literature, primarily from the Western canon. It is currently published in hardback by Random House. It was originally an imprint of J. M. Dent, who continue to publish Everyman Paperbacks.

McClelland & Stewart 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.

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 December 2019, Penguin Random House has been wholly owned by Bertelsmann.

Berkley Books Publishing imprint of Penguin Group (USA)

Berkley Books is an imprint of the Penguin Group.

Viking Press American publishing company

Viking Press is an American publishing company now 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.

Simon & Schuster American publishing company

Simon & Schuster is an American publishing company and a subsidiary of ViacomCBS. It was founded in New York City in 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.

DK (publisher) British publisher of general reference and illustrated 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, science, nature, sport, gardening, cookery and parenting. The worldwide CEO of DK is Carsten Coesfeld. 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.

Alfred A. Knopf 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.

St. Martin's Press is a book publisher headquartered in Manhattan, New York City, in the Equitable Building. St. Martin's Press is considered one of the largest English-language publishers, bringing to the public some 700 titles a year under six imprints.

New American Library 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.

Bantam Books Publisher from the USA

Bantam Books is an American publishing house owned entirely by parent company Random House, a subsidiary of Penguin Random House; it is an imprint of the Random House Publishing Group. It was formed in 1945 by Walter B. Pitkin, Jr., Sidney B. Kramer, and Ian and Betty Ballantine, with funding from Grosset & Dunlap and Curtis Publishing Company. It has since been purchased several times by companies including National General, Carl Lindner's American Financial and, most recently, Bertelsmann; it became part of Random House in 1998, when Bertelsmann purchased it to form Bantam Doubleday Dell. It began as a mass market publisher, mostly of reprints of hardcover books, with some original paperbacks as well. It expanded into both trade paperback and hardcover books, including original works, often reprinted in house as mass-market editions.

Kensington Books 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.

Dell Publishing American publisher

Dell Publishing 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 categories including fiction, non-fiction, biography, autobiography and memoir, cooking, health, business, and lifestyle. Its imprints include Crown, Crown Archetype, Crown Business, Crown Forum, Hogarth, Three Rivers Press, Clarkson Potter, Potter Craft, Potter Style, Broadway Books, Broadway Paperbacks, Image, WaterBrook/Multnomah, Harmony Books, Rodale Books, Watson-Guptill, Amphoto Books, and Ten Speed Press. Formerly, the company also used the Bell Tower Press, Orion Books, and related imprints and subsidiaries, such as Gramercy Publishing Company. However, these have now either been discontinued or transferred to other Random House units.

Broadway Books 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.

Random House of Canada 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, Inc., is an independent book publisher located in Naperville, Illinois. The company publishes books, ebooks, and digital products, and is one of the 20 largest publishers in the United States.

cbj is a German publisher of children's literature based in Munich. It was founded in 1968 under the name "C. Bertelsmann Jugendbuchverlag" and is still an independent part of the Random House Publishing Group. cbj publishes works by German and international authors. The publisher was made known by the book series "The Famous Five" by Enid Blyton, among others. In 2008, a part of the program was redistributed in the newly founded cbt publishing.


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Further reading