Changes at Penguin

ImageReceived this note from the CEO of Penguin, announcing the changes post the merger of Penguin and Random House. Am putting this up here because the changes are in public domain, in any case :

When I wrote to you in July last year, on the day Penguin Random House was formed, I proudly promised you that Penguin Random House India is committed to publishing with passion the books you write.  I also said that this would be accomplished by an experienced, knowledgeable local leadership team who would fully support and advance your vision for your books.

Today I am writing to you to inform you of our further realization of our commitment to you: a new cross-company organizational structure at Penguin Random House India; a teamwork which, I believe, will enable us to fulfill this promise–together.  With these leadership new appointments for our editorial, sales, and marketing teams we have created a unified management team which will enable us to work with you, our customers, and ultimately our readers even more closely and effectively.

On the editorial side, Chiki Sarkar, currently Publisher at Penguin Books India, will be expanding her role to become Publisher of Penguin Random House India.  She will have responsibility for building the local publishing list and will be supported in this role by Meru Gokhale and Milee Ashwarya, our newly appointed Publishing Directors, Penguin Random House India.  Meru will have responsibility for the Vintage India, Allen Lane, Hamish Hamilton, Viking and Classics lists, and Milee will oversee Ebury India, Random Business, Metro Reads, Penguin Ananda, Shobhaa De Books and Portfolio.  Within this leadership framework your primary day-to-day relationship you have with your current editor should remain unchanged.

Over her career, with both Random House and Penguin in India, Chiki has built a considerable reputation for finding, nurturing and championing the region’s very best writing talent and publishing their books which huge personal passion.  Her tireless work has recently been recognized by the World Economic Forum, which named her as one of their Young Global leaders, a community which assembles the world’s most promising next-generation leaders. 

Meru started her career at Penguin India, and during her years at Random House, she has shaped the Vintage India list into the finest home for critically acclaimed, award-winning literary publishing. In 2013, she was awarded the prestigious Jerusalem Editorial Fellowship.  Milee is well known for her flair for commercial publishing and has created, in Ebury, the country’s leading health and lifestyle list and, in Random Business, a bestselling combination of both serious and soft business.

I am convinced that, with Chiki, Milee and Meru’s breadth of expertise, you will be in the very best hands.

We will be bringing increased focus to our children’s publishing, and with it Hemali Sodhi will be taking on the newly created role of Director, Children’s, Penguin Random House India.  As Vice President Marketing and Corporate Communications she had established Penguin as one of the foremost publishing brands in India and she will now turn these considerable skills to developing our local publishing program as well as the international list for the Indian market.

Our new combined sales team will be headed by Senior Vice President, Sales, Ananth Padmanabhan who will have overall responsibility for all Penguin Random House sales in India. Nandan Jha has been appointed VP, International Product and Digital Sales, which will include the entire portfolio of Penguin Random House Group international product and all the agency publishers it represents in India.  He will also be responsible for all online and digital sales for the group and sales of children’s product.  Manoj Satti will take on the role of General Manager, International Product (Random House) and Sales Planning and Rahul Dixit will be General Manager, Local Publishing and Sales, responsible for the development of product and diversified sales for all local publishing across Penguin Random House India.

Both Ananth and Nandan, in their respective Vice President Sales roles at Penguin and Random House, have been responsible for expanding our sales reach in an ever-changing retail market.  Across our newly-combined team there is well over half a century of experience in all aspects of sales, from shop-floor selling and distribution to customer service and inventory management.  This wealth of knowledge will enable Penguin Random House to continue to ensure your books reach their readers, wherever and however they buy them.

Finally, Caroline Newbury has been appointed as VP Marketing and Corporate Communications for Penguin Random House India, and will oversee all publicity, marketing, digital and corporate communications functions.  Caroline joined Random House India two years ago after over a decade working in the Ebury Publishing division of Random House UK.  Hemali will maintain her role in corporate communications for Penguin Books India.

With these appointments I believe we have created a team at Penguin Random House which will enable us to publish your books and deliver them to your readers in the most connective, innovative, and effective way.  Our goal is to build your readership and sell more of your books in the traditional and emerging publishing formats and platforms.

I know that members of this team will be in touch with you directly very shortly but should you have any questions at any time, please do not hesitate to contact me. My colleagues and I very much look forward to continuing to proudly publish your books.


Pic courtesy : Penguin India Facebook page.

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s