Penguin Random House appoints new heads of Alfred A. Knopf

Penguin Random House on Thursday named two executives it recruited from outside the company to take over for Sonny Mehta, the longtime head of Alfred A. Knopf, who died last month.

Reagan Arthur, a senior vice president and publisher at Little, Brown & Co., will join as executive VP and publisher of Knopf, Pantheon and Schocken on Feb. 11, the company said.

“I’m incredibly happy to report that as his last gift to us, Sonny identified Reagan Arthur as his first choice for this role and they were able to meet and talk about the opportunity in the fall,” said Penguin Random House Chief Executive Madeline McIntosh in a memo to staffers.

Arthur will report to Maya Mavjee, who will become president and publisher of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Mavjee had a 22-year career at Penguin Random House companies, heading Crown in the US and Doubleday in Canada before jumping to Macmillan in January 2019 as president of publishing strategy.

Also in the lineup: Jordan Pavlin is being promoted to senior VP, editorial director at Alfred A. Knopf.

The odd man out appears to be Tony Chirico, president of Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, who the company said will report to McIntosh in a corporate capacity on an interim basis.

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