Penguin Random House’s chief executive has resigned due to the US decision to stop the company’s $2.2bn acquisition of Simon & Schuster.

Markus Dohle will be retiring at the end the year, according to the company. He stated that he did so at his own request and on mutually beneficial terms.

Since 2013, Mr Dohle was Penguin’s chief executive officer. Penguin had been created from another merger and is now the largest book publisher in the world.

Simon & Schuster was canceled due to competition concerns

The US judge ruled in favor of the government. It had tried to block the merger and argued that the tie-up would lower the pay and opportunities for writers.

“Following an antitrust decision in America against the merger Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster I have decided, almost 15 years later… to hand over Penguin Random House’s next chapter to new leadership,” said Mr Dohle.

According to Bertelsmann, Penguin’s German owner, the company will pursue smaller acquisitions in the US.

Nihar Malaviya (Penguin’s US boss) will be serving as interim chief executive starting January 1.

Penguin Random House was created in 2013 by the merger of Penguin UK and Random House New York.

Penguin has collaborated with many famous authors, including Sylvia Plath and George Orwell.

It has also published books by Marian Keyes, Zadie Smith and Dan Brown in recent years.

Simon & Schuster’s list of writers includes Stephen King and Jennifer Weiner, as well as former US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Mr King was one of the prominent witnesses against the merger for the US government. The US has taken a tougher line against monopolies since President Joe Biden took office.

Bertelsmann initially stated that it would appeal the US decision but eventually scrapped the deal. It is currently paying a $200m breakup charge.

Since 1994, Mr. Dohle worked in various capacities for Bertelsmann. When Random House announced its merger with Penguin, he was the boss.

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