Current managing director of Random House Struik in South Africa Steve Connolly is now set to become MD of the combined Penguin Random House South Africa, and will take on additional leadership of Penguin Books South Africa during the integration process. Penguin SA finance director Claire Grant will take on similar groupwide responsibility, and will direct the integration of all finance, operations and IT functions.
CEO, Penguin Random House International Ian Hudson noted that current Penguin Books SA Stephen Johnson "has agreed to stay on in this position until the middle of 2014 to help with the transition. I would like to thank Stephen for his excellent stewardship and support over the last 12 months and I am very grateful that we will continue to benefit from his insight to help guide our smooth transition.
Separately, in the US Random House announced their next "open house" event for readers, on May 2. Featured authors include Gary Shteyngart, Emma Straub, Jenny McCarthy and Ruth Reichl.
HarperCollins will rename the It Books imprint, calling it Dey Street Books, "inspired" by the new building the company is moving to at the corner of Broadway and Dey. Publisher Lynn Grady says they intend "to broaden our program without losing our core area of focus."
Viewers of Amazon.com's home page will see that the company is rolling out a price increase in the annual Amazon Prime program, raising the fee to $99 a year for renewals on or after April 17. Student members will pay $49 under the new pricing, while the combined Amazon Prime Fresh program (regular prime, plus same-day and early morning delivery of groceries and other local items, available in a few cities only) stays at $299 for now.