Carolyn Reidy, ceo of Simon & Schuster since 2008, died Tuesday morning after suffering a heart attack. She turned 71 earlier this month. The news was announced by S&S evp, operations and cfo Dennis Eulau.
He writes: “Carolyn was both an exemplary leader and a supremely talented and visionary publishing executive…. As a publisher and a leader, Carolyn pushed us to stretch to do just that little bit more; to do our best and then some for our authors, in whose service she came to work each day with an unbridled and infectious enthusiasm and great humor. Her fierce intelligence and curiosity, and her determination to know everything about a given subject if it could help us to be better, were matched by her complete and total accessibility: she wrote congratulatory notes to employees when they were promoted, and colleagues in every corner of our company always felt that they had a first-person relationship with her, and that they could reach out to her to discuss any subject and receive a thoughtful response in return.
“She was equally attentive, on a personal level, to our authors, to whom she sent handwritten notes when they received awards, made the bestseller list, or simply to let them know when she finished reading their books.”
She joined S&S as president of the trade division in 1992. Prior to that, she was president and publisher of Avon, after having worked at William Morrow and Random House, where she was publisher of Vintage Books and associate publisher of the Random House imprint. She began her publishing career in 1974 in the subsidiary rights department of Random House.
Eulau adds: “I have had the privilege of being a partner to Carolyn for 25 years. A fierce leader, loyal friend and passionate supporter, Carolyn inspired me and challenged me every day that we worked together. She had the rare combination of business acumen and creative genius that made her a once-in-a-lifetime publishing executive. She walked through life with an abundance of joy, and loved to celebrate the accomplishments and milestones of her colleagues and friends with great generosity and fanfare. That so many of us at Simon & Schuster have been friends and colleagues with her for many, many years says everything about the kind of person and leader she was, and we will all miss her terribly.”
Information about where donations may be sent will be announced at a later date.