New Random House CEO Markus Dohle, who put forth a program of massive changes at the publisher yesterday, is now totally excited that his house's books made the most prestigious end-of-the-year books list at the New York Times Book Review. Dohle "delighted in the fact that fully nine of the ten books on the NYTBR list had been published by Random House." So he sent another memo, which the New York Observer duly captured. Instead of the last, ominous one ("a plan for our future that aligns existing strengths and publishing affinities and fosters teamwork throughout the company") which translated into "we killed two of our divisions and shuffled a lot of imprints around; maybe people will lose their jobs also," this memo is more of an OMG! type affair.
Mr. Dohle delighted in the fact that fully nine of the ten books on the NYTBR list had been published by Random House. Those nine, for the record: Dangerous Laughter by Steven Millhauser; A Mercy by Toni Morrison; Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri; The Forever War by Dexter Filkins; Nothing to Be Frightened Of by Julian Barnes; The Republic of Suffering by Drew Gilpin Faust; The World Is What It Is by Patrick French; Netherland by Joseph O'Neill; and The Dark Side by Jane Mayer.
This memo fits into our earlier critique of layoff memos, even though it's a post-major-restructuring memo. Although we never said that there should be a law against cheeriness in the midst of these situations, maybe there should be.