The global publishing industry has lost a giant. Carolyn Reidy, the President and Chief Executive Officer of American publishing power-house Simon & Schuster has passed on at the age of 71.
Simon and Schuster has published many African writers, including Tope Folarin, Nnedi Okorafor, Jennifer Makumbi, Petina Gappah, Temi Oh, José Eduardo Agualusa, Doris Lessing, Wanjiku wa Ngugi, to name a few.
Publishers Weekly reported that Reidy died of a heart attack. The announcement of her passing was made by Dennis Eulau, the company’s executive Vice President of operations and chief financial officer, who had worked with Reidy for more than two decades.
BREAKING NEWS: Carolyn Reidy, the president and CEO of Simon & Schuster, died of a heart attack this morning. She was 71. This story is developing.
— Publishers Weekly (@PublishersWkly) May 12, 2020
Over the past week, her work as a trailblazer in the published industry has been celebrated by colleagues from publishing companies from around the world. Reidy headed a top publishing firm at a time when women the top positions in publishing are still mostly filled by men.
Carolyn Reidy joined Simon & Schuster in 1992. She served as head of audit publishing until her promotion to CEO in 2008. At Simon & Schuster, Reidy is credited with the success of titles by David W. Blight, Anthony Doerr and Siddhartha Mukherjee, who are all Pulitzer Prize winners, and world leaders such as Hillary Clinton and Dick Cheney.
As a habitual trait, Dennis Eulau notes that Reidy sent out personal notes of congratulations and goodwill to employees and authors upon achieving a milestone.
In a 2017 interview with Publishers Weekly, Reidy talked about “opening up the lines of communication between the executive level and the rest of S&S”. This, she said, was “to give the staff a sense of gratification for the company’s success, and to make them feel that they are all contributing to that success.”
May her soul rest in peace.