Outgoing CEO of Random House Peter W.

Bertelsmann Appoints New Random House CEO

May 20, 2008 02:39 PM
by Liz Colville
Bertelsmann, the German media conglomerate that owns Random House, has appointed Markus Dohle, previously the head of Arvato Print, to replace Peter W. Olson.

30-Second Summary

Bertelsmann announced May 20 that Markus Dohle would be taking over from Olson, whose imminent departure made headlines earlier this month. Dohle’s last title was head of Arvato Print, part of Arvato, the company’s printing and services division.

The appointment of Dohle is “likely to rattle insiders” at Random House, and “comes at a time when both Random House and the wider publishing industry are suffering from a slowdown,” writes Motoko Rich in The New York Times.

Dohle’s predecessor, Peter W. Olson, was also an outsider to book publishing, a former banker and lawyer who saw profits decline at Random House, the world’s largest consumer publisher. Random House’s book clubs have also suffered in recent years.

Some speculate that Random House must adapt to technological shifts to boost sales, and that Dohle’s business experience might succeed where Olson’s failed.

In January of this year Bertelsmann appointed Hartmut Ostrowski, who previously headed Arvato, as CEO of Bertelsmann. Dohle worked under Ostrowski as the head of Arvato Print.

Headline Link: ‘Publishing Outsider Picked to Head Random House’

Background: Bertelsmann focuses efforts on lagging publisher

Opinion & Analysis: Media bloggers discuss Olson’s departure

Key Players: Peter W. Olson and Markus Dohle

Peter W. Olson
Markus Dohle

Most Recent Beyond The Headlines