Indian-origin Nihar Malaviya named interim CEO of Penguin Random House

Malaviya, has been President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the publisher's American division Penguin Random House US since 2019

PTIUpdated: Saturday, December 10, 2022, 01:36 PM IST
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Nihar Malaviya | Image credit: Wikipedia

Nihar Malaviya, an Indian-origin publishing executive, has been named interim CEO of New York-based international publishing group Penguin Random House after its current chief executive officer Markus Dohle announced he is stepping down from the role.

Malaviya, who has been President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the publisher's American division Penguin Random House US since 2019, will assume the role of Interim CEO of Penguin Random House starting January 1, 2023, the publisher's parent company Bertelsmann said in a statement Friday.

Malaviya, who will report to Bertelsmann CEO Thomas Rabe, will join the Bertelsmann's Group Management Committee (GMC), as well as continue to be a member of the Penguin Random House Global Executive Committee.

"Following Malaviya's appointment, the GMC will comprise 20 top executives of eight different nationalities," the statement said.

As interim CEO of Penguin Random House, Malaviya will "lead the creation of new competitive advantages that position the global company for future growth," the statement said.

In his capacity as President and COO, Malaviya, 48, was responsible for all publishing operations in the US from supply chain to technology and data and client services.

Dohle is stepping down as CEO at the end of 2022, and simultaneously resigning his seat on the Bertelsmann Executive Board, "at his own request and on the best of mutual terms," Bertelsmann said.

Dohle said in the statement that after nearly 15 years on the Executive Board of Bertelsmann and at the helm of the global publishing business, he has decided to hand over the next chapter of Penguin Random House to new leadership, following the antitrust decision in the US against the merger of Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster.

In late October this year, the US District Court for the District of Columbia ruled in favour of the Justice Department in its civil antitrust lawsuit to block Penguin Random House's proposed USD 2.2 billion acquisition of Simon & Schuster.

The court had found that the effect of the proposed merger would be to substantially lessen competition in the market for the US publishing rights to anticipated top-selling books.

Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter of the Justice Department's Antitrust Division had said that the decision protected vital competition for books and was a victory for authors, readers, and the free exchange of ideas.

"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," Kanter had said.

Since 2014, Malaviya had the responsibility for all publishing operations in the US from the supply chain to technology and data and client services.

He is a member of the Penguin Random House Global Executive Committee and leads the creation of new competitive advantages that position the global company for future growth.

Malaviya began his career at Bertelsmann in 2001 as a participant in the Bertelsmann Entrepreneurs Programme.

In 2003, he moved within the group to Random House, successfully taking on a number of leadership positions. Malaviya is a two-time recipient of the Bertelsmann Entrepreneur Award for Strategy Execution and serves on the Bertelsmann Technology and Data Advisory Board.

He holds an MBA in Finance and Marketing from the NYU Stern School of Business, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. Malaviya is also a member of the board of Yale University Press.

Rabe described Malaviya as an "outstanding leader and an entrepreneurial publishing professional who knows Penguin Random House inside out.

"As the person responsible for all operational publishing processes in the US as well as the implementation of a global Tech & Data agenda, he has played a major role in the company's success and created sustainable competitive advantages for Penguin Random House globally," Rabe said.

Rabe added that with his deep understanding of the global media landscape and publishing industry, Malaviya will continue to develop the company and invest in its expansion, both organically and through acquisitions.

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