Penguin Random House

Penguin Random House (PRH) is an American multinational conglomerate publishing company formed in 2013 from the merger of Random House (owned by German media conglomerate Bertelsmann) and Penguin Group (owned by British publishing company Pearson plc).[1][2] As of 2013, Penguin Random House employed about 10,000 people globally and published 15,000 titles annually under its 250 divisions and imprints. These titles include fiction and nonfiction for adults and children in both print and digital.

Penguin Random House
Parent companyBertelsmann
FoundedJuly 1, 2013 (2013-07-01)
Headquarters locationPenguin Random House Tower
New York City, New York, United States
Key peopleMarkus Dohle (CEO)
Thomas Rabe (Chairman)
Madeline McIntosh (CEO, PRH US)
Jim Johnston (CFO)
Publication typesBooks
Revenue3.359 billion (2017)
No. of employees10,000 (as of July 1, 2013)

Penguin Random House comprises Penguin and Random House in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Portugal, and India; Penguin in Brazil, Asia and South Africa; Dorling Kindersley worldwide; and Random House's companies in Spain, Hispanic America, and Germany.[3][4]


Penguin Random House was formed on July 1, 2013, upon the completion of a £2.4 billion transaction between Bertelsmann and Pearson to merge their respective trade publishing companies, Random House and Penguin Group. Bertelsmann and Pearson, the parent companies, owning 53% and 47%, respectively.[5][6] The creation of the company has been referred to as the publishing industry's response to the increasing dominance of in the book market.[7] Markus Dohle was named CEO of the new company which had more than 10,000 employees around the world with 250 imprints and publishing houses and a publishing list of over 15,000 new titles a year.[4]

PRH relaunched Book Country, Penguin's online unit, in July 2013.[8]

In September 2014, Random House Studio signed a first look production deal with Universal Pictures, under which Random House would be the producer of films based on Penguin Random House books. The Universal subsidiary Focus Features will closely collaborate with Random House Films.[9] Having previously spearheaded the creation process of Puffin Rock animation, Richard Haines is heading PRH Children's TV development strategy with the assistance of licensing, publishing, and TV development executive Emily Campan. Haines would report to PRH Children's managing director, Francesca Dow.[10]

In November 2015, Pearson announced that it will be rebranding and completely focusing on its education division. It was predicted that Pearson would sell its share in Penguin Random House. Pearson CEO John Fallon estimated that the company would wait until at least 2017.[11]

In July 2017, Pearson agreed to sell a 22% stake in the business to Bertelsmann, thereby retaining a 25% holding.[12][13]

On December 18, 2019, Bertelsmann agreed to acquire Pearson's 25% stake in PRH.[14]


In June 2014 Penguin Random House unveiled a new logo designed by Michael Beirut of Pentagram. The logo is a simple serif font with the words Penguin Random House bookended by orange (as a tribute to the original colors of Penguin). For the 250 or so imprints this design would display their traditional logo image to the left of the Penguin Random House words. The logo was introduced in an animated video showcasing various imprints.[15]

Divisions and imprints


DK (Dorling Kindersley) was founded in London in 1974 and is a reference publisher focusing on non-fiction for adults and children.

As of 2015 DK also has official publishing relationships with Angry Birds, Lego, Marvel, and Star Wars.[16]

Crown Publishing Group

Crown Publishing was founded in 1933 as the Outlet Book Company, a remainder house, and is now a publisher of fiction and narrative non-fiction.[17]

  • Amphoto Books, publishes photography books
  • Broadway Books, founded in 1996 as part of Bantam Doubleday Dell and is now the paperback imprint of Crown
  • Clarkson Potter, produces cookbooks, illustrated gift books, and journals
  • Crown Archetype, hardcover publisher of pop-culture titles
  • Crown Business, publishes business-related content
  • Crown Forum, publishes political discourse
  • Harmony Books, publishes self-help titles
  • Hogarth Press, partnership between Crown in the U.S. and Windus in the U.K.
  • Convergent, Image Catholic Books (Doubleday Religion), Waterbrook & Multnomah publish Christian non-fiction and fiction titles
  • Pam Krauss Books, founded in 1915 and publishes culinary, food, and lifestyle related titles
  • Rodale Books
  • Ten Speed Press, joined Crown in 2009 as a West Coast publisher of nonfiction and gift titles
  • Tim Duggan Books, founded in 2014
  • Watson-Guptill, publishes illustrated art books as part of Ten Speed Press[18]

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

Titles under Alfred A. Knopf have won 58 Pulitzers as well as Nobel and National Book Awards.[19]

  • Doubleday, publisher of commercial, literary, and serious nonfiction founded in 1897
  • Pantheon, founded in 1942 by Kurt Wolff
  • Schocken, publisher of Judaica, became a part of Random House in 1945
  • Vintage Books, trade paperback publisher founded by Alfred A. Knopf in 1954
  • Anchor Books, publisher of history, science, women's studies, sociology and fiction
  • Vintage Español, Spanish-language publisher in the United States, founded in 1994 by Alfred A. Knopf
  • Black Lizard, also known as Vintage Crime, publisher of crime fiction, acquired by Random House in 1990
  • Nan A. Talese, literary imprint formed in 1990 to house authors published by editor Nan A. Talese
  • Everyman's Library, a series of reprinted classic literature currently published in hardback[20][21]

Penguin Publishing Group

  • Avery, publisher of nonfiction and lifestyle books founded in 1974
  • Berkley Publishing Group/New American Library, contain several imprints including Jove, Signet, Ace, Roc, Sensation, and Caliber
  • DAW, publisher of science fiction and fantasy
  • Dutton, small boutique fiction and non-fiction publisher of about 40 books per year
  • Putnam, publisher founded in 1838
  • Pamela Dorman Books/Viking, established in 2010 as a boutique publisher of VP Pamela Dorman
  • Penguin, established in the 1930s as a publisher of mass market paperbacks; houses Penguin Books, Penguin Classics, and most recently Penguin Press
  • Perigee, originally the trade paperback imprint for G.P. Putnam's Sons; publishes prescriptive non-fiction, self-help and how-to books
  • Plume, trade paperback imprint with a focus on multi-cultural and LGBT publishing
  • Portfolio, founded in 2001 as a business imprint
  • Riverhead, publisher of literary fiction and non-fiction founded in 1994
  • Sentinel, founded in 2003 as a conservative imprint
  • Tarcher Perigee, publisher of mind, body, and spiritualism titles
  • Viking Press, founded in 1925 and publishes both fiction and non-fiction titles[22]

Penguin Young Readers Group

Penguin Young Readers Group is a division devoted to books for young readers and young adults.

  • Dial Books for Young Readers, publishes about 70 hardcover children's books per year
  • Firebird, publishes young adult science fiction and fantasy
  • Frederick Warne, publisher founded in 1865 that develops brands based on classic children's literature such as Peter Rabbit
  • G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers, publisher of picture books
  • Grosset & Dunlap, publisher of paperback series, leveled readers, nonfiction, brands, and licenses for ages 0-12
  • Kathy Dawson Books, launched in 2014 by publisher Kathy Dawson to publish hardcover middle-grade and YA fiction
  • Ladybird Books, publishes books for toddlers
  • Nancy Paulsen Books, launched in 2011 by publisher Nancy Paulsen to publish picture books
  • Philomel Books
  • Price Stern Sloan (PSS!), founded to publish the Mad Libs books in the 1960s, expanded to publish additional children's, novelty, and humor titles
  • Puffin Books, publishes books for young readers in various formats
  • Razorbill, publishes middle grade and young adult books
  • Speak, launched in 2002 to publish classic and new young adult fiction
  • Viking, publishes books for young readers[22]

Random House Publishing Group

  • Ballantine Books, founded in 1952 to publish fiction and nonfiction hardcover and paperback titles
  • Bantam Books, originally a publisher of mass-market reprints; currently publishes fiction and nonfiction in all formats
  • Delacorte Press, founded in 1921 as a publisher of pulp magazines, detective stories, and movie articles, has expanded to publish original fiction in all formats
  • Del Rey Books, branch of Ballantine Books that focuses on science fiction and fantasy titles
  • The Dial Press, literary publisher
  • Modern Library, publisher of American and international classics founded by Boni & Liveright
  • Random House, originally founded in 1927 by Bennett Cerf and Donald Klopfer, and publishes fiction
  • Random House Value
  • Spiegel & Grau
  • Alibi, Flirt, Hydra, and Loveswept, publish e-originals in genre fiction[23]

Random House Children's Books

  • Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, publisher of board books, picture books, novels and non-fiction
  • Crown Books for Young Readers
  • Random House Books for Young Readers, publisher of Dr.Seuss, Babar, Magic Tree House series, Junie B. Jones, and Step Into Reading
  • Little Golden Books, picture book, novelty, and activity book publisher launched in 1942
  • Schwartz and Wade, launched in 2005 and directed by Anne Schwartz and Lee Wade
  • Wendy Lamb Books, publisher of middle-grade and young adult fiction launched in 2002
  • Ember, publishes young adult and middle grade trade paperbacks, such as titles by Judy Blume and Dana Reinhardt
  • Bluefire, fantasy imprint for middle grade and young adult readers
  • Dragonfly, publishes paperback picture books
  • Yearling Books, publishes middle grade paperbacks
  • Laurel-Leaf, publishes young adult literature in a mass-market format
  • The Princeton Review, publishes print and digital test prep materials
  • Sylvan Learning, publishes workbooks and study aids.[24][25]
  • Little Tiger Press, British publisher[26]

PRH Digital Publishing Group

PRH International

  • Companhia das Letras (70%; Brazil)
  • Penguin Random House Australia
  • Penguin Random House Group (UK)
  • Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial (Spain/Portugal/Latin America)
  • Penguin Random House India
  • Penguin Random House New Zealand
  • Penguin Random House of Canada
  • Penguin Random House Struik (South Africa)
  • Transworld Ireland
  • Verlagsgruppe Penguin Random House (Germany)[28]

PRH Publisher Services

Handling distribution and marketing for Shambhala Publications, National Geographic Books, Wizards of the Coast, Vertical Inc., New York Review Books, Titan Books, Other Press, Kodansha Manga, North Atlantic Books, DC Comics, and Dark Horse Comics among others.


Book Country

Book Country is a subsidiary online writing and publishing community.[29] Book Country was launched in April 2011 with a focus on romance, mystery, science fiction, fantasy.

In July 2013, Book Country relaunched with online writing workshops in over sixty literary categories, including literary fiction, memoir, and women's fiction.[8] As of September 2013, the site had over 10,000 members.[30]


  1. Calamur, Krishnadev (29 October 2012). "Penguin, Random House Announce Merger". NPR. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
  2. "Pearson, Bertelsmann Confirm Publishing Tie-Up". Associated Press. 29 October 2012. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
  3. "Penguin Random House | About Us"
  4. "CEO Markus Dohle Announces Penguin Random House Global Leadership Team" (PDF). Penguin Random House. 1 July 2013. Retrieved 22 January 2016.
  5. "Penguin and Random House complete merger". The Telegraph. 9 February 2017.
  6. "CEO Markus Dohle Announces Penguin Random House Global Leadership Team". Retrieved 2018-05-27.
  7. Ciabattari, Jane (2013). "Now There Are 5". Library Journal. Media Source Inc. 138 (14): 26–29.
  8. Suw Charman-Anderson (29 July 2013). "Book Country: Developing Authors And Audiences". Forbes.
  9. Gerard, Jeremy (September 24, 2014). "Universal, Penguin Random House in 2-year First-look Pact". Deadline. Retrieved February 8, 2016.
  10. Whittock, Jesse. (November 30, 2015). Penguin Random House makes TV play. TBI Magazine. (Informa Telecoms & Media). Accessed on February 8, 2016.
  11. Cowdrey, Katherine (January 6, 2016). "Pearson rebrand to reflect 100% focus on education". The Bookseller.
  12. "Pearson sells 22% stake in Penguin Random House". BBC News. 11 July 2017. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  13. Sweney, Mark (2017-07-11). "Pearson sells slice of Penguin for $1bn". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-09-13.
  15. UnderConsideration. "One Serif to Rule Them All". Retrieved 2018-05-27.
  16. "About DK". DK Publishing. Retrieved 2016-04-08.
  17. Mcdowell, Edwin (1990-02-08). "Nat Wartels, 88, the Chairman Of the Crown Publishing Empire". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-04-04.
  18. "The Crown Publishing GroupThe Crown Publishing Group". The Crown Publishing Group. Retrieved 2016-04-04.
  19. Rich, Motoko (2007-04-18). "Pulitzer Prizes - Alfred A. Knopf - Books". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-09-13.
  20. "Imprints | Knopf Doubleday". Knopf Doubleday. Retrieved 2016-04-03.
  21. "Random House - Bertelsmann AG" (in German). Archived from the original on 2013-06-03. Retrieved 2012-08-13.
  22. "Imprints | Penguin Random House". Retrieved 2016-04-09.
  23. "Our Imprints". Random House. Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  24. "Our imprints | Random House Kids". Retrieved 2016-04-16.
  25. "Random House Kids Imprints". Random House. Retrieved 13 April 2016.
  27. "Santillana vende Ediciones Generales a Penguin Random House para centrarse en el área educativa". El País (in Spanish). Madrid: PRISA. 19 March 2014. Retrieved 7 November 2016.
  28. "Penguin Random House Offices".
  29. "What's the Penguin About?".
  30. "Workshopping Community Book Country Hits Membership Milestone". 2013.
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