executive shifts in publishing

First, Olson leaves Random House.

Now, Friedman is leaving HarperCollins.

“Jane Friedman’s departure as HarperCollins CEO, first reported by Gawker, has been officially confirmed by the book publisher. Her replacement by Brian Murray, 21 years her junior, comes less than a month after a similar generational shift at Bertelsmann AG’s Random House, where unsentimental German engineer Markus Dohle, 39, replaced book-loving lawyer Peter Olson, 58.”

Full press release on Gawker.

5 responses to “executive shifts in publishing

  1. That reminds me, what do you think about the changes taking place at Borders? I ask partly from curiosity and partly because I’m one of the ones who just got laid off from corporate. 😉 Although actually, I’m curious what you think about all of the changes, including the new website and e-commerce, etc.

  2. Olson’s leaving Random House wasn’t entirely a surprise, but I was srsly whoa when I saw the news about Friedman.
    (it should be noted, tho, that Murray is young but not inexperienced and, unlike Dohl, seems to be a Book Person.)
    Lots of stuff swirling. Fun times, right?

  3. I was completely shocked by this last night, as was everyone in my office.
    Gawker suggests she was canned over how she handled the OJ Simpson book. What was she supposed to do when the public was so against it? They wouldn’t have been able to publish anyway, after the Goldmans sued.
    It’s too bad this didn’t happen a month ago so RandomHouse could’ve hired her.

    • I can’t go with Gawker’s take (the OJ angle) on this. First, Judith Regan was the sacrifice on that altar. Second, the immediate promotion of Brian Murray and several other people indicates that this plan has been in the works for some time. Third, Friedman’s contract was up in November; if they didn’t sack her for the OJ book two years ago, why not just wait until November?
      Which isn’t to say that this was necessarily a mutual parting of the ways. I just don’t think it was over the OJ book.

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