One of the world’s most prestigious literary publishers has chosen just its fourth editorial leader in its 105-year history: Reagan Arthur has been named executive vice-president and publisher of Alfred A. Knopf, where authors have ranged from Robert A. Caro to the late Toni Morrison.
Arthur, 55, currently heads another venerable publisher, Little, Brown and Company, and will begin her new job on Feb. 11. She succeeds longtime Knopf publisher Sonny Mehta, who died in December and had mentioned her in recent months as a worthy replacement. According to Madeline McIntosh, CEO of parent company Penguin Random House, Mehta and Arthur had met last fall to discuss future plans.
“I’m incredibly happy to report that as his last gift to us, Sonny identified Reagan Arthur as his first choice for this role,” McIntosh wrote in a company memo shared Thursday with The Associated Press.
“The range and breadth of Reagan’s editorial expertise and her leadership qualities are core to what makes her the ideal choice for this role. Her writers think the world of her, as do her colleagues. She has a proven track record and a reputation that means her recommendations are trusted by sales reps and booksellers alike.”
Like Mehta, Arthur has a long record of literary and commercial success. Her authors include Kate Atkinson, Ronan Farrow and Tina Fey.
Arthur will not take on all of the responsibilities of Mehta, who was chairman of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group at the time of his death. She will lead the Knopf, Schocken and Pantheon imprints and will report to Maya Mavjee, who has been named to the newly created position of president and publisher of Knopf Doubleday.
Mavjee, who left Penguin Random House at the end of 2018 amid a corporate restructuring, will rejoin her old company on March 2. She had worked at Penguin Random House and at its predecessor companies for more than 20 years, most recently as president and publisher of the Crown Publishing Group. For the past year, she was president of publishing strategy at Macmillan.
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