CEO Of Penguin Random House Steps Down In Wake Of Failed Merger With Rival Company

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James Lynch Reporter
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Penguin Random House CEO Markus Dohle is stepping down at the end of the year after the company failed to acquire rival publisher Simon & Schuster.

“Following the antitrust decision in the U.S. against the merger of Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster, I have decided, after nearly 15 years on the Executive Board of Bertelsmann and at the helm of our global publishing business, to hand over the next chapter of Penguin Random House to new leadership,” Dohle said in a statement released by parent company Bertelsmann, a German conglomerate.

Dohle’s departure was made “at his own request” and “on the best of mutual terms,” the Bertelsmann announcement stated. He will be temporarily replaced by Penguin President & COO Nihar Malaviya, who has been in his current role since 2019.

Dohle was appointed the first CEO of Penguin Random House after overseeing the 2012-13 merger between Penguin and Random House as the CEO of Random House, CBS reported. (RELATED: Biden Regular Sues Microsoft)

Dohle had strongly pushed for the $2.2 billion merger between Penguin and Simon & Schuster, which a federal judge blocked in November. He was confident regulators would approve the merger because he believed it would not raise competition concerns, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The Obama-appointed judge sided with the Justice Department in its arguments the deal would increase market concentration in the publishing industry by creating a “monopsony” situation in which one buyer has too much market power.

“The proposed merger would have reduced competition, decreased author compensation, diminished the breadth, depth, and diversity of our stories and ideas, and ultimately impoverished our democracy,” Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division said in a November press release.

A spokesperson for Bertelsmann cited the announcement in response to the Daily Caller’s questions about Dohle stepping down. The spokesperson also suggested that Penguin Random House would pursue small- to medium-sized acquisitions in the future.