Adrienne Vaughan, 45, president of Bloomsbury USA, died early Thursday evening in a horrific and heartbreaking boating accident off the Amalfi Coast of Italy. On vacation with her family, Vaughan was thrown from a chartered 29-foot sightseeing boat when it collided with a larger 130-foot sailboat carrying about 85 people as part of a wedding party. She was declared dead on the scene back onshore by first responders before a helicopter could take her to the hospital. Her husband Mike suffered more modest injuries, and their two children were not harmed physically in the incident. CNN later confirmed that initial toxicology reports indicated the captain of Vaughan’s boat was found to have had more than the legal limit of alcohol in his system.
Vaughan joined Bloomsbury USA in 2020, first as chief operating officer after working at Trustbridge Partners and Disney Book Group. She was promoted to president a year later, when the company said, “She has shown strong leadership during the challenging time of the pandemic.” The company has not commented publicly yet on the tragedy.