The Crown Publishing Group has joined the Random House Publishing Group in a newly-combined division reporting to current Random House president and publisher Gina Centrello, who has been named president and publisher of the new supergroup, Penguin Random House US CEO Madeline McIntosh wrote today in a letter to staff. As a result of the merger, Maya Mavjee, president and publisher of Crown, will leave the company at the end of the year. The imprints will retain their distinct editorial identities, McIntosh continued in the memo, and the change is effective immediately.
At least for the moment, the two groups will retain their existing names: the Crown Publishing Group and the Random House Publishing Group. The change has no impact on PRH's other adult publishing groups, the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group and the Penguin Publishing Group, or its two children's divisions.
McIntosh attributed the move to "book discovery and buying patterns [that] continue to shift, resulting in growth opportunities in the nonfiction categories in which Crown in particular already has a strong foothold: food, lifestyle, health, wellness, business, and Christian. To further pursue this growth," she added, "we will need to do two things simultaneously. First, we must expand and strengthen the expert publishing teams who are specialized in and dedicated to each category. Second, we must invest even more aggressively in title-level and scaled marketing programs, capabilities, and partnerships. This will ensure that we not only maximize the sales for each individual book but also keep pace with consumer trends. Both Crown and Random House have been keenly aware of these market opportunities and have been applying their impressive creative and entrepreneurial energies to meet them. I am confident that, teamed together, with joined talents, resources, and strengths, as a united division they will be able to move even more quickly and effectively."
Newly reporting to Centrello are David Drake, executive v-p and deputy publisher of Crown, and the Crown senior executive team: Tina Constable, senior v-p and publisher of Currency, Convergent, WaterBrook & Multnomah, and Crown Forum; Jill Flaxman, senior v-p and director of publishing operations; Molly Stern, senior v-p and publisher, Crown, Broadway, Archetype, Three Rivers Press, and Hogarth; Aaron Wehner, senior v-p and publisher of Ten Speed Press, Clarkson Potter, Rodale Books, and Harmony; and Katie Ziga, senior v-p and executive director of business operations. Executives currently reporting to Centrello at Random House will continue to do so.
"Aside from their well-earned reputations for excellence in all aspects of publishing, the imprints in the Random House group have garnered accolades for their innovative marketing programs and capabilities; those can now be applied to the benefit of the Crown list," McIntosh wrote. "Crown, in turn, has already built expertise in effectively engaging consumers across their portfolio of authors, and they contribute exposure to markets outside of our New York epicenter with their publishing operations in California and Colorado. Together, the group will be able to offer its authors and readers even more robust service and selection across literary and commercial fiction, and narrative nonfiction, than ever before."
This is the second, and more significant, restructuring McIntosh has implemented since being named CEO of PRH US in April. In May, she promoted a number of top executives at Random House, PRH corporate, and in the company's audio division, Penguin Random House Audio Group.