The chief executive of Penguin Random House, the world’s largest trade publisher, will resign weeks after a federal court blocked his bid to buy rival Simon & Schuster.
Markus Dohle’s decision is effective at the end of the year. He will be temporarily replaced by Nihar Malaviya, 48, currently the president and COO of Penguin Random House.
“Following the US antitrust decision against the merger of Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster, I have decided, after nearly 15 years on the Bertelsmann Executive Board and at the helm of our global publishing business, to deliver the next chapter from Penguin Random House to new leadership,” Dohle, 54, said in a statement released Friday by parent company Bertelsmann, the German conglomerate.
Dohle is also stepping down from the Bertelsmann board of directors. His departure was made “at his own request and on mutually best terms,” according to Bertelsmann’s announcement.
Dohle was appointed CEO when Penguin Random House was still Random House and presided over an era of tremendous growth, most notably the 2012-13 merger with Penguin that made the new company the undisputed market leader in the industry. But the failed Simon & Schuster buyout turned out to be an embarrassment for Dohle, who had lobbied heavily for the $2.2 billion deal.
After a dramatic trial this summer that included testimony from bestselling author Stephen King, who opposed the $2.2 billion merger, a federal judgein November.
Simon & Schuster’s parent company, Paramount Global, said it stillParamount Publishing is also the parent company of CBS News.
“We regret Markus Dohle’s decision to leave Bertelsmann and Penguin Random House,” Christopher Mohn, chairman of Bertelsmann’s supervisory board, said in a statement. “He has sustainably focused Penguin Random House on growth and profitability. Under his leadership, our book division more than doubled revenue and quintupled profit. The fact that our global book publishing group is today in such a strong position is due in large part to Markus Dohle.”
Dohle’s contract expired in December 2025.
CBS News’ Irina Ivanova contributed to this report.