President of Penguin Young Readers Group US, Don Weisberg, is leaving Penguin Random House at the end of the month to become president for Macmillan Publishers U.S.
Penguin Random House announced the division’s senior v.p and associate publisher Jen Loja as Weisberg’s successor, who steps into the role of president for Penguin Young Readers effective as of 1st December, reporting to Markus Dohle. Loja will join the Penguin Random House North America board as part of her new role, and will also become a member of the Global Executive Committee (GEC).
Markus Dohle described Weisberg as “one of the most versatile and accomplished executives in our company”. He said: “I wish I could work with him forever. But he has a chance to oversee all the adult as well as children’s publishing and sales operations of a major U.S. trade publisher. It is too great an opportunity to pass up, and I respect and support his wish to accept it."
Weisberg - who begun his career in 1980 as a Bantam Books sales rep – has served as chief operating officer and executive v.p of North America for Random House. He took up the post of president for Penguin Young Readers in 2008, since overseeing imprints including Dutton Children's Books, G.P. Putnam's Sons, Grosset & Dunlap, Philomel, Dial Books for Young Readers, Razorbill, Puffin, and Viking Children's Books, on a mandate to “match the commercial success of Penguin’s adult publishing”.
Dohle said: “He delivered on that expectation brilliantly. Along the way, he and his team made John Green one of the world’s bestselling authors; published such mega-sellers as The Day the Crayons Quit and The Day the Crayons Came Home; The Book with No Pictures; The 5th Wave; Thirteen Reasons Why; and If I Stay; introduced John Grisham’s Theodore Boone series; reinvigorated the Penguin Young Readers classic backlist; and published numerous prize-winning titles, including Jacqueline Woodson’s Brown Girl Dreaming, last year’s National Book Award winner. Don also spearheaded the creation of the phenomenally successful Mad Libs app.
“As he did in his Random House years, Don has raised the bar for leadership excellence. He has our everlasting appreciation for his more than three decades of contributions to our company, and our best wishes for great success always.”
Loja was welcomed to the role by Dohle, who described it as “a logical evolution and expansion of her current responsibilities” and in “recognition of the crucial role she has played side-by-side with Don as his deputy”.
Dohle added: “Simply put, she knows and understands how her company works—and how to make it even stronger. Working with Jen as president will be as rewarding as it will be joyful for me, our authors and illustrators, and our Penguin Young Readers colleagues. I am confident that she will lead her division to ever-greater publishing achievement, and I look forward to collaborating with her on the overall development of Penguin Random House as a global company through her participation on our North American Board and GEC.”
Picture: Andrea Fischman