In what may have been the biggest team-building program ever in publishing, more than 1,400 Penguin Random House employees took part in PRH’s first Company Week (January 9–13) at the publisher’s two New York City offices as well as at sites around the city.
The event featured dozens of presentations from company employees that highlighted either some aspect of the publisher’s business or an area of personal interest. Jeff Weber, v-p and director of online and digital sales, for instance, gave a well-attended talk on what Amazon may have in mind for its bookstores.
Authors were also on hand to elaborate on the topics of their books. For example, at Brooklyn’s Museum of Food and Drink (MoFaD), Deb Perelman, author of Smitten Kitchen, gave a one-hour cooking demonstration and Ballantine author Jenny Rosenstrach signed copies of her cookbook How to Celebrate Everything after her presentation.
Company Week was first conceived by executive v-p of corporate communications Claire Von Schilling, who quickly got the support of CEO Markus Dohle. A team drawn from Dohle’s office, corporate communications, and human resources put together the program, which also featured a company-wide party at Pier 60 on January 12. January 13 was a day of service in which PRH employees were encouraged to volunteer to help out with a project of their choosing or to sign up for a PRH-organized project.
“For me, this Penguin Random House Company Week was a terrific opportunity for us to bring our company even closer together, to build even more and deeper relationships among colleagues, and to recognize and celebrate all the talent under our roof,” Dohle told PW. Von Schilling said that, due to the amount of positive feedback she received, PRH is committed to holding the event again sometime in 2018.