Ann Godoff joins Penguin Group as President and Publisher of a major start-up

Acclaimed Publisher and Editor Has a New Publishing Home

New York, New York - .Susan Petersen Kennedy, President of Penguin Group (USA), today announced that Ann Godoff, former president, publisher and editor-in-chief of the Random House Trade Group, will join Penguin Group (USA) as president and publisher of a major start-up, yet to be named.  Ms. Godoff's appointment is effective February 4, 2003 and she will report to Ms. Petersen Kennedy.

"It is a rare opportunity for a distinguished editor and respected publisher such as Ann to become available.  She is a natural here because she shares our deep commitment to publishing intelligent, imaginative and outstanding books that endure from one generation to the next.  She is passionate about books and so are we," said Ms. Petersen Kennedy.

David Shanks, CEO of Penguin Group (USA) added, " We have a powerhouse publishing program, led by some of the most preeminent editors and publishers in the business.  Having a smart, confident publisher and leader like Ann join our ranks will only help to bolster the incredible momentum we already have in motion.  We have every confidence that this new start-up will grow into a significant contributing entity within the Group.  At Penguin Group (USA), taking measured risks is expected, especially to create growth opportunities; and teamwork and collegial relationships between editors are embraced." 

Ms. Godoff's track record for identifying extraordinary books and writers is extremely impressive.  She is recognized among her peers as a brilliant editor, savvy publisher and a highly respected business leader.  During her tenure at Random House, she personally acquired such bestselling books as John Berendt's Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, a record-breaker on The New York Times bestseller list, Ron Chernow's Titan and Ruth Reichl's Tender at the Bone and Comfort Me with Apples.  Among the other authors she has acquired and edited are 1997 Booker Award winner Arundhati Roy (The God of Small Things) and Zadie Smith (White Teeth), Adam Gopnick (Paris to the Moon), Caleb Carr, William Finnegan, James Hillman, Tina Rosenberg (winner of both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award for This Haunted Land), Frank Rich, Michael Pollan, Jeffrey Toobin, Robert Rubin, Kurt Anderson, and Alan Furst.

Ms. Godoff's imprint will focus primarily on non-fiction titles and she anticipates ultimately publishing as many as 40 titles per year.  She hopes to have her debut list ready in time for publication in 2004. 

Scott Moyers, a senior editor from her Random editorial team, will be joining her at her new imprint.  He has been named a senior editor for the newly created imprint and will begin his new appointment as soon as possible.  During his tenure with Ms. Godoff at Random House, Mr. Moyers became recognized as a young man of rare gravitas and intellect, depth and perception.  Among the titles he was responsible for editing were the late W.G. Sebald's Austerlitz and Karen Armstrong's Islam.

Ann Godoff commented, "The Penguin Group is the perfect environment for those authors whose careers I've shared for many years and also those authors whose careers I've yet to find.  Penguin is a place that understands that it is the authors and their work that matter most and that the properly published solid list is the list that is inevitably the most profitable.  This is a major step for me but I am bolstered by the professionalism of Susan and David and their team.  The development of this imprint is as exciting as anything I've ever done."

John Makinson, Chairman and CEO of Penguin Group globally, added, "We are delighted to welcome Ann to Penguin.  Her publishing skills are legendary and I am certain that, in the right environment, they will be rewarded with both creative and financial success.  Penguin Group (USA) is just that environment ? collegial in approach, serious about financial performance and committed to great writing.  This imprint provides an irresistible opportunity for growth and all of us at Penguin, in the US and around the world, will give Ann the support she needs to seize it."

Penguin Group (USA) is one of the most profitable consumer book publishers in the nation.  It is home to some of the most highly regarded editors and authors in the industry.  Penguin Group is known for its heavy-hitting literary figures such as Dorothy Allison, Saul Bellow, A. Scott Berg, Harold Bloom, Nick Hornby, Garrison Keillor, William Kennedy, the Dalai Lama, Anne Lamott, Chang Rae Lee, James McBride, Arthur Miller, Peggy Noonan, Kathleen Norris, Nathaniel Philbrick, Steven Pinker, John Steinbeck, Amy Tan, and Kurt Vonnegut.    Famous for its ability to publish books that rise to the top of bestseller lists as soon as they are released, Penguin Group (USA)'s list of perennial New York Times bestselling authors include Tom Clancy, Patricia Cornwell,

Nora Roberts, Jan Karon, Clive Cussler, John Sanford, Sue Grafton, W.E.B. Griffin, Catherine Coulter, Steve Martini, Daniel Silva, Maeve Binchy, Terry McMillian, Ken Follett, Eric Carle, Judy Blume, and Brian Jacques.

Penguin Group sales worldwide topped 1.2 billion in 2001 and in 2002 will hit its financial targets for the year.   Despite the sluggish market conditions, Penguin Group (USA) will report record sales and profits for last year.  Penguin Group USA also led the industry in 2002 in placing more books at #1 on The New York Times bestseller lists.  Within the 52 weeks of rankings, it had 24 books, from across all divisions, that hit #1 on The New York Times list.  With over 30 first novels published last year, the company excelled in its efforts to publish fresh new literary and commercial voices.

Penguin Group authors were recognized with more prestigious honors, awards and nominations than ever before, including the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, National Book Awards for 2002 (three of Penguin Group's books were NBA finalists), Edgar Awards and Pen Center USA Literary Awards.

Penguin Group (USA) is the U.S. affilate of the internationally renowned Penguin Group. Penguin Group (USA) is one of the leading U.S. adult and children's trade book publishers owning a wide range of imprints and trademarks including Berkley Books, Dutton, Frederick Warne, G.P. Putnam's Sons, Grosset & Dunlap, New American Library, Penguin, Philomel, Plume, Puffin Books, Riverhead Books and Viking, among others. The Penguin Group is part of Pearson (FTSE: PSON; NYSE: PSO). Pearson is an international media company with market leading businesses in education, business information and consumer publishing. For more information, visit

Contact Information

Marilyn Ducksworth, (212) 366-2564 for Penguin Group (USA)
Leslee Dart, (212) 373-6121 for Ann Godoff