NEW YORK, December 7, 2023—Simon & Schuster, a global leader in general interest publishing, today named its new Board of Directors as the company embarks on its journey as an independent, standalone publishing company. The announcement was made by Jonathan Karp, President and Chief Executive Officer of Simon & Schuster.
Joining Karp on Simon & Schuster’s newly formed Board of Directors is a group of six accomplished leaders with vast experience in the publishing, media, and technology industries. Veteran senior publishing executive and investor Richard Sarnoff will serve as Chairman of the Board, alongside KKR executives Ted Oberwager and Chresten Knaff, and independent Board members Madeline McIntosh, V Pappas, and Kareem Daniel. Each executive brings unique strengths and perspectives to Simon & Schuster and will be instrumental in helping set the direction of the company and empowering the team to achieve its goals.
Richard Sarnoff, Chairman of the Board, brings a wealth of experience in publishing, media, and education to Simon & Schuster. His illustrious career includes serving as a senior executive and Supervisory Board member at Bertelsmann, where he held leadership roles both at Random House and Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments. In addition, Sarnoff served as Chairman of the Association of American Publishers during a key time in the evolution of the publishing industry as it adapted to the growth of eBooks and digital audiobooks. He currently serves as Chairman of Media within KKR’s Americas Private Equity business and on the Boards of OverDrive, Teaching Strategies, Chegg, AST SpaceMobile, Lightcast, and numerous not-for-profit organizations.
Senior KKR executives also joining the Simon & Schuster Board are Ted Oberwager, Partner at KKR who leads the gaming, entertainment, media, and sports verticals within KKR’s Americas Private Equity business, and Chresten Knaff, Director at KKR and a member of the firm’s media and software industry teams. Oberwager and Knaff have played instrumental roles in KKR’s successful publishing industry investments in RBmedia and OverDrive, as well as numerous other media, digital media, and technology investments for KKR. Oberwager currently serves on the Boards of AppLovin, OverDrive, PlayOn! Sports, and Skydance Media. Knaff serves on the Boards of apexanalytix, OverDrive, and Therapy Brands and is a Board Observer at BMC Software.
Madeline McIntosh joins the Board with a distinguished career in book publishing, having held various leadership positions in the industry. McIntosh most recently served as Chief Executive Officer of Penguin Random House U.S., during which time she pioneered the adoption of new technologies and use of data and analytics to capture growth opportunities for one of the world’s leading publishing houses. Her expertise in navigating the complexities of the publishing industry and her acumen in strategic development and market expansion will be valuable to Simon & Schuster’s future growth. McIntosh currently serves as President of the Board of Directors for Poets & Writers.
V Pappas joins the Board with a wealth of experience in social media and the creator economy. Pappas most recently served as Chief Operating Officer of TikTok, having previously held roles including Global Interim Head and General Manager for North America, Australia, and New Zealand. During Pappas’s five-year tenure with TikTok, they oversaw the growth of the platform from tens of millions of users to over 1 billion users in more than 170 countries, including during the emergence of the #BookTok phenomenon. Earlier, Pappas served as the Global Head of Creative Insights at YouTube, leading company-wide strategic growth initiatives at the intersection of content and product. They played a key role in transforming content creation into a career through the development of YouTube’s first-ever automated, scalable personalized insights for creators and media partners. Pappas also developed the “YouTube Creator Playbook,” the definitive guide to audience development at YouTube, which reached more than 20 million creators and has since expanded into its own division. They will bring significant experience and insight into unlocking Simon & Schuster’s goals of reaching new audiences, creating modern platforms, and harnessing technology. Pappas currently serves on the Board of Trustees for The Paley Center for Media.
Kareem Daniel joins the Board with extensive global expertise leading strategy, storytelling, and commercialization over an 18-year tenure at The Walt Disney Company. He most recently served as Chairman of Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution overseeing the organization that delivers Disney’s storytelling to fans around the world. In this role, Daniel was responsible for the growth and profitability of Disney’s portfolio of media businesses globally, including filmed entertainment, television networks, and streaming platforms. Earlier, Daniel served as President of Consumer Products, Games and Publishing, where he led product development, licensing, eCommerce, video games, and Disney Publishing Worldwide, one of the world’s largest publishers of children’s books and magazines. Daniel’s accomplishments in bringing the Disney brand to life will significantly benefit Simon & Schuster’s strategic approach to unlocking the potential of Intellectual Property and helping authors reach audiences in new and international markets. Daniel currently serves on the Board of McDonald’s.
“The formation of this Board marks an exciting new chapter in Simon & Schuster’s story,” said Jonathan Karp. “We are thrilled to have such a dynamic and highly qualified team guiding us forward. Their collective experience in digital innovation, global business strategy, and deep understanding of the publishing ecosystem will be instrumental in our growth and success as an independent publisher.”
SVP, Corporate Communications
About Simon & Schuster:
Simon & Schuster, a global leader in general interest publishing, is dedicated to providing the best in fiction and nonfiction for readers of all ages, and in all printed, digital and audio formats. Its distinguished roster of authors includes many of the world’s most popular and widely recognized writers, and winners of the most prestigious literary honors and awards. It is home to numerous well-known imprints and divisions such as Simon & Schuster, Scribner, Atria Books, Gallery Books, Adams Media, Avid Reader Press, Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing and Simon & Schuster Audio and international companies in Australia, Canada, India and the United Kingdom, and proudly brings the works of its authors to readers in more than 200 countries and territories. For more information visit our website at www.simonandschuster.com