ViacomCBS Names New Simon & Schuster CEO Amid Sales Process

Simon & Schuster
Jonathan Karp

Jonathan Karp replaces Carolyn Reidy, who died earlier this month, and leads a prestigious book publisher recently put on the auction block.

ViacomCBS has promoted Jonathan Karp to president and CEO of Simon & Schuster after putting the book publisher up for sale.

Karp succeeds Carolyn Reidy, the former president and CEO who passed away earlier this month at age 71 due to a heart attack. Karp most recently served as president and publisher of Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing.

His promotion follows ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish in early March telling an investors conference Simon & Schuster was being put on the auction block with an eye to a potential sale as the book publisher was no longer "a core asset of the company."

“Jon embodies the values that Carolyn instilled at Simon & Schuster, and he is well-suited to guide the continued growth and evolution of this incredible global brand,” Bakish added Thursday in a statement.

Black Rock, the longtime headquarters of CBS in Manhattan, is another asset from the combined Viacom and CBS entity that is also the subject of a possible sale, Bakish said in March as ViacomCBS continues to navigate the COVID-19 crisis.

In late March, ViacomCBS raised $2.5 billion in debt to pay back existing debt after withdrawing its 2020 financial guidance due to the pandemic and said it could have a "material" financial impact on the firm despite increased viewership.