The fallout from Penguin Random House’s failure to acquire Simon & Schuster continued today with the news that PRH US CEO Madeline McIntosh will leave the company in the near future. In a memo to staff, McIntosh wrote that she is “stepping down” from her position, but that she will work with Nihar Malaviya, PRH’s interim global CEO, “to determine the best plan for the U.S. organization going forward.”
McIntosh’s resignation follows, by about three weeks, the departure of Gina Centrello, the longtime publisher and president of the Random House Publishing Group. In announcing Centrello’s retirement, McIntosh wrote that, given the strong leadership team that Centrello built, “we can take the time we need…to develop the plan for Gina’s succession.”
In his memo on McIntosh’s exit, Malaviya wrote that he will collaborate with McIntosh “to shape the new organization,” adding that McIntosh “will work closely with me to minimize any disruption to the company and all of you. I understand that changes like this naturally create unease. Please rest assured that we will move as quickly as possible.”
The loss of Centrello and McIntosh follows the resignation of PRH global CEO Markus Dohle, who stepped aside at the end of 2022 shortly after it was decided that PRH would not appeal the Department of Justice’s decision to block PRH’s purchase of S&S. During his testimony during the trial, Dohle made comments many observers believed were critical of certain aspects of Centrello's and McIntosh’s leadership—remarks that were generally not well received within the company.
In her memo, McIntosh said that one reason for her decision to leave is that she doesn’t believe it is a good thing for CEOs to “stay in their seats forever. Fresh perspectives can be incredibly healthy and helpful for organizations.” McIntosh added that she had no immediate plans, explaining: “There are ideas I’ve had over the years that have never found a natural fit within PRH, but which I’m excited to explore now. After all these years inside the safe and supportive home that is our company, I’m itching to make another leap.”
Her route to the PRH CEO was a circuitous one. McIntosh was named CEO in April 2018 after serving as president of the Penguin Publishing Group. She began her career at Bantam Doubleday Dell in its new media division, left publishing in 2008 to become director of Kindle content acquisition for Amazon in Luxembourg, and was recruited by Dohle to join Random House in 2009. Among the positions she has held at what is now PRH are president and COO of Penguin Random House U.S.; publisher of Random House Audio; and director of adult sales at Random House.