Ward becomes Random House US publisher

Ward becomes Random House US publisher

Andy Ward has been promoted to Random House US publisher effective immediately.

Meanwhile Knopf’s Robin Desser will become Ward’s replacement as senior v.p. and editor-in-chief of the Random House imprint in January 2020.

Ward has worked at Random House for a decade with the email circular sent to staff at Penguin Random House US paying tribute to his leadership skills. “For the last five years, Andy has led the Random House editorial team with a clear, astute sensibility and with great heart,” the announcement reads. “His steady, caring stewardship, as well as his own talents as an editor, have helped advance a Random House imprint that is recognized for its quality and for its unwavering commitment to excellence. In his new position, Andy will help set the priorities for not just Random House but also the Dial and Hogarth imprints. He will also acquire and edit new projects.”

Senior v.p. and deputy publisher Tom Perry will report to Ward, as will v.p. and deputy publisher Avideh Bashirrad. Also reporting to Ward will be Whitney Frick, v.p. and editorial director of The Dial Press; and Alexis Washam, editorial director of Hogarth.

Desser’s promotion was announced at the same time, who has served as v.p. and editorial director of Alfred A Knopf since 2013. “She has been part of the Random House corporate family for more than 30 years, starting as an assistant editor at Pantheon Books and moving on to senior editorial positions at Vintage and then at Knopf, which she joined in 1996,” the circular to Penguin Random House US staff reads. The announcement credited Desser “as one of the finest, most accomplished editors in the business, with a deep roster of bestselling, critically lauded authors that is respected across the industry”. She will lead the Random House editorial department “playing a key role in advocating for our authors and editors, shaping our list, and continuing to pursue her own acquisitions”.

The news follows the death of Susan Kamil, publisher at Random House US, aged 69 in September. Random House president and publisher Gina Centrello said at the time the death of the “brilliant editor” was "a loss ... shattering in so many ways”.