Penguin Random House to Combine Offices in NYC, Saving $20M Annually
Yesterday CEO Markus Dohle sent a memo to New-York-based Penguin Random House staff informing them that their separate offices would be combined in early 2019. PRH staff working at 375 and 345 Hudson Street will join their colleagues at 1745 Broadway. This marks the next step in the integration of the Penguin and Random House companies post-merger. Dohle indicated in the memo that the expanded office space will enable greater collaboration across groups.
The combined office space will reportedly save the publisher $20 million annually. “In an ever-changing publishing marketplace, leveraging the opportunities we have together as Penguin Random House for meaningful reductions in costs will make us more robust for the future and better able to invest in our authors and their books,” said Dohle in the memo.
He added that although the merger will bring about physical changes for Penguin Random House groups, the move would not alter the company’s organizational structure.
Read the full memo below.
August 8, 2016
Dear Penguin Random House Colleagues,
At our employee meetings here in New York City, I have frequently been asked if we are ever going to work together in one Manhattan building. While there are many cultural and operational benefits to uniting us all in one location, the financial aspects of such an arrangement were daunting, and I have answered that there were no plans in the works to do so. But that changed recently when our landlord at 1745 Broadway presented us with an unanticipated, one-time opportunity to accommodate us all in our midtown location at a greatly reduced long-term rent. The resulting fiscal savings would be significant: approximately $20 million annually. In an ever-changing publishing marketplace, leveraging the opportunities we have together as Penguin Random House for meaningful reductions in costs will make us more robust for the future and better able to invest in our authors and their books.
So, with the approval of our North America Penguin Random House Board and our shareholders, we are finalizing negotiations that will bring together in early 2019 our employees working at 375 and 345 Hudson Street with their colleagues at 1745 Broadway.
The building move will bring about physical shifts for many teams, but it will not cause our organizational structure to change in any way. Penguin Random House is home to a creative community of independent publishing divisions and imprints, and as with the current lower floors at 1745, our new space in the upper floors will reflect this structure and be designed in a traditional combination of offices and workstations grouped by publishing division, to accommodate everyone.
Another advantage of the move is that unifying the workplaces of our uptown and downtown colleagues from the corporate divisions will enhance collaboration, as we eliminate that constant Broadway-Hudson commute. Whereas at Hudson Street we are one of many tenants, I am especially pleased that this will not be so at 1745. Penguin Random House essentially will be the sole occupant, with building services completely focused on providing support for us and our visitors.
We are in the initial stages of planning the move, and while the physical relocation is some 2½ years away, we have begun assembling a cross-divisional team from the corporate and publishing groups to develop and oversee the project, and to keep you well informed as we proceed. We wanted to share news of this decision immediately, and we are committed to transparency throughout the process. In these early days, if you have any suggestions or questions, please email email@example.com and visit Igloo for an FAQ with more information and regular updates.
As we begin the journey of creating one office home in Manhattan, I want to thank each of you in advance for your cooperation, especially our Hudson Street colleagues, who will experience more change with this eventual move. It’s easy to see why so many of you enjoy being downtown, and I will do everything I reasonably can to help us create a workplace we will all be proud of and excited to come to every day. The building will now truly become Penguin Random House’s home—from its lobby to every one of the new Penguin floors—in which we will honor the traditions of each of our publishing imprints and build on the culture we have created as one company and community.
Ellen Harvey is a freelance writer and editor who covers the latest technologies and strategies reshaping the publishing landscape. She previously served as the Senior Editor at Publishing Executive and Book Business.