After serving as CEO of DK for just over two years, Carsten Coesfeld will move to another Bertelsmann operation, Bertelsmann Investments, on June 1. With Coesfeld’s move, Penguin Random House global CEO Markus Dohle has appointed Paul Kelly and Rebecca Smart co-CEOs of DK worldwide. Both Kelly and Smart will report to Dohle.
In a memo to employees announcing the changes, Dohle credited Coesfeld with leading DK to the best year in its history in 2021. Coesfeld joined DK in March 2020 after serving in various positions at Bertelsmann/PRH, and was president of telecommunications at Bertelsmann’s Arvato Supply Chain Solutions business immediately before taking over at DK.
In promoting Kelly and Smart as co-CEOs, Dohle said he is confident that “their complementary skills and experience will allow them to continue to implement the successful growth strategy developed by the DK leadership team.” As co-CEOs, Kelly and Smart will join the Penguin Random House global executive committee.
Smart worked at a number of illustrated publishers—including heading PRH UK’s Ebury division—before moving to DK in January 2019 as managing director of publishing. Kelly joined Random House in 2008 and served in various roles before becoming DK CFO and strategy director in 2016. In May 2021, Kelly was also named president of DK US, the publisher’s biggest market.