Peter Olson is resigning as chairman and chief executive of book publisher Random House and will be succeeded by Markus Dohle, parent company Bertelsmann AG said on Tuesday.
Olson, 58, is leaving on his own initiative, Bertelsmann Chief Executive Hartmut Ostrowski said in a statement. A May 5 report in The New York Times said Ostrowski had lost patience with Random House's performance and wanted his own candidate in the job.
A Random House spokesman would not comment directly on the Times's characterization of Ostrowski's feelings, referring instead to a statement in which Ostrowski said he regretted Olson's departure.
Olson said in a letter to employees that he was leaving after 10 years to focus on academia.
"My family and I are relocating this summer to Cambridge, Massachusetts, where we have bought an apartment in Harvard Square," he wrote." I am in discussions for a senior faculty position starting in the fall with a full-time workload at a nearby university and I expect they and I will announce my plans soon."
Dohle, 39, is chief executive of Arvato Print, another Bertelsmann unit. He will move to New York from Germany this summer. He has worked for Bertelsmann since 1994.
In a question-and-answer session accompanying the statement, Ostrowski said Bertelsmann was not planning to exit the book business.