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Simon & Schuster CEO Remembers 2008 Fondly, Can’t Wait for 2009

simon-schuster-logo.jpgLooking to raise spirits at Simon & Schuster after laying off 35 employees earlier this month, CEO/president Carolyn Reidy accentuated the positive in last Friday’s company-wide holiday memo, a document in many ways similar to the letter Markus Dohle sent Random House employees. Reidy encourages staffers “to remember and be grateful for what makes publishing an exciting and wonderful business and Simon & Schuster a special company within it,” unfurling a checklist of successes that includes 166 NY Times bestsellers—a new record for the company, which also repeatedly broke its record for most bestsellers in a single week (settling on 31 books towards the end of April).

“There is no question that 2008 has been a challenging year,” Reidy acknowledges, but she’s convinced the company is primed for future success: “This is precisely the moment—when established routines do not yield the customary results—that we must take chances and embrace risk.” Among the innovations planned for 2009: next month’s launch of “[a] new state-of-the-art website, offering visitors a multitude of new and exciting ways to find out about our books, stay connected to their favorite authors, share their enthusiasm with fellow readers, and remain engaged with our content before, during, and after reading our books.”

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